Recognizing and Managing the Oral Clues That Point to Sjögren's Syndrome

, State University of New York at Buffalo

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In This Article

Conclusion: Dry Mouth May Be More Than an Oral Problem

Health care providers should vigorously pursue patients' complaints of xerostomia and elucidate their genesis. Physicians and dentists are in a privileged position to use diagnostic procedures and preventive measures to alleviate the distress and morbidity that accompany xerostomia. It is important to bear in mind that complaints of xerostomia may transcend the boundaries of the oral cavity, heralding the presence of a serious systemic autoimmune disease such as SS. Because of the chronicity and inherent progressive nature of SS, afflicted patients should be closely monitored by their caregivers. The National Sjögren's Syndrome Association (NSSA) is a good resource for patients. NSSA is a clearinghouse for information about the latest research and advocacy efforts directed toward SS. The organization publishes Sjögren's Digest, the Patient Education Series, as well as the educational video, "Learning to Live with Sjögren's Syndrome." Callers can leave a message and the call will be returned. Contact 1-800-395-6672, 1-602-516-0787, 1-602-516-0111 (fax), NSSA@AOL.com (email).

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