Chemosensory Dysfunction, Oral Disorders and Oral Health-related Quality of Life in Patients With Primary Sjögren's Syndrome: Comparative Cross-sectional Study

Comparative Cross-sectional Study

Mirjana Šijan Gobeljić; Vera Milić; Nada Pejnović; Nemanja Damjanov


BMC Oral Health. 2020;20(187) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate chemosensory function and oral disorders in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) and to compare these findings with those of age- and gender-matched healthy controls.

Methods: This comparative cross-sectional study included 58 patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) and 55 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Olfactory and gustatory function, burning sensations in the tongue (BST) and halitosis were assessed. Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) was evaluated using the short-form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14).

Results: Patients with pSS had significantly lower self-reported visual analogue scale (VAS) smell score (8.6 ± 2.2 vs. 9.6 ± 0.7, p = 0.016) and VAS taste score (8.5 ± 2.1 vs. 9.5 ± 0.7, p = 0.014) than healthy controls. A greater proportion of patients with pSS had anosmia (3.8% vs. 0.0%) or hyposmia (36.5% vs. 13.2%) and ageusia for basic tastes: sweetness (34.0% vs. 7.5%), sourness (10.6% vs. 0.0), saltiness (10.0% vs. 5.7%) or bitterness (19.1% vs. 1.9%) as evaluated using Sniffin Sticks test and taste stripts, respectively. A higher proportion of pSS patients complained of dysgeusia (52.6% vs. 9.4%, p < 0.0001) and BST (45.6% vs. 0.0%, p < 0.0001), while similar number of patients with pSS and controls reported halitosis (31.6% vs. 28.3%, p = 0.434). The mean OHIP-14 score was significantly higher in patients with pSS (6.8 ± 7.0 vs. 2.3 ± 8.5, p < 0.001) indicating patients' poorer OHRQoL compared with controls.

Conclusions: The majority of patients with pSS had impaired chemosensory function and indicators of oral health in comparison with the age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Further studies of oral hygiene habits and dietary intake of these patients are needed to ensure better management of oral health problems in patients with pSS.