A woman is drinking a glass of water

Sjӧgren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder where the body mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands (tear and salivary). Other organs can be affected.

From an oral health perspective, insufficient saliva production (dry mouth) can increase the risk for cavities, tooth loss, and infections in the mouth. Saliva plays a major role in maintaining a healthy mouth because it helps to:

  • wash away food and debris from teeth and gums
  • keep the surface of your teeth strong by providing high levels of calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions at the tooth surface

Dry mouth can also affect taste, as well as make chewing and swallowing more difficult.

How to Maintain Good Oral Health

If you have Sjӧgren’s syndrome, twice-yearly visits to your dentist are recommended. In addition, you can maintain good oral health to prevent cavities and infections.

  • use saliva substitutes or prescription drugs that can help increase saliva production
  • drink small sips of water regularly throughout the day may also help
  • use lip balm if your lips are dry and cracked
  • use toothpaste that contains fluoride and gently brush your teeth, gums, and tongue after each meal and before bedtime.
  • floss your teeth regularly.
  • avoid sugary foods and sugary drinks
  • ask your dentist whether you need to use a fluoride mouth rinse, use a fluoride gel at night, or have fluoride varnish put on your teeth to protect them from decay

Enhanced Dental Benefits for Sjӧgren’s Syndrome

Florida Blue Dental’s Oral Health for Overall Health program provides plan members diagnosed with Sjӧgren’s syndrome with enhanced dental benefits when enrolled in our program. These benefits have been shown to improve not only oral health, but also help you better manage your condition.

Learn more about the enrollment process.