What Is Sjögren’s Syndrome?
Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This attack, specifically, targets the moisture-producing glands in the body, leading to dryness of the eyes and mouth as well as other effects throughout the entire body. Other symptoms associated with this condition include systemic joint pain, arthritis, fatigue, vision problems, and poor performance of many internal organs.
The cause of Sjögren’s syndrome is currently unknown, although there may be a genetic component to the disorder. It is also believed that certain environmental triggers or hormonal changes may play a role in its development.
The body works as a fine-tuned machine and a balance of different systems keeps it in sync. Sjögren’s (SHOW-grins) Syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects the entire body. While many patients experience dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, and joint pain, Sjögren’s can also cause dysfunction of organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and central nervous system. Patients also have a higher chance of developing lymphoma. At OP, we have been dedicated to helping Sjögren’s patients throughout the entire 29 years of practice.
Be Proactive – Get An Appointment!
In a recent study, 92% of all Sjögren’s patients experience some degree of dry mouth. A dry mouth (xerostomia) will likely cause rapid natural teeth decay. For denture wearers, a dry mouth can be painful and even frustrating when the denture no longer adheres.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications to increase saliva can be part of the treatment plan as well as an increased number of appointments for cleanings or even the use of dental implants. The good news is that dental implants do not decay. They can be a very reliable and long-term solution for Sjögren’s Syndrome patients.
At OP, we understand how hard it can be to find a doctor whom you like, respect, and trust. We make the effort to listen and approach this process with empathy, understanding, and compassion. During our first exam, we will review your medical history, including any medications you are currently taking, complete a clinical and radiographic evaluation, monitor your salivary flow, and decide if a biopsy or blood tests are necessary. We will get a list of your Sjögren’s doctors and coordinate care with them. When you leave, you will have short- and long-term personalized treatment plans which are tailored to help optimize your oral health. We strongly recommend that you get an appointment with one of our doctors as soon as possible.
Our OP doctors focus exclusively on complicated cases. Consequently, our doctors treat more rare conditions than most doctors see in a lifetime. We are renowned for using technology to assist with diagnosing and designing solutions for our patients. We are pioneers in creating more effective, less traumatic, and longer-lasting treatments. Our team has completed advanced training in surgery and prosthetics. Our patients benefit from that quest by receiving not only the best treatments to minimize the impact of Sjögren’s Syndrome and will also give them the best chance at a high quality of life.
We want to help. Please call.