Medications And Other Medical Conditions May Aggravate Sjogren Syndrome Symptoms

Prescription drugs and co-existing diseases and/or medical conditions may have substantial impact on people dealing with Sjogren syndrome symptoms, such as dry mouth, says a study in the December 2014 edition of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

According to the American Dental Association, Sjogren syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands, the tear secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs. Dry mouth is a common symptom, which can be a serious threat to a person’s oral health.

As background for exploring how medications and co-existing diseases and conditions might affect the mouth and people with Sjogren syndrome, the authors noted, “As North Americans live longer, have more chronic conditions and take more medications, adverse oral events are likely to increase and aggravate the symptoms of Sjogren syndrome.” They surveyed 151 adults, who were an average of 65.8 years old, with self-reported Sjogren syndrome on various aspects of living with the disorder.

Among other findings, they uncovered that “participants with four or more comorbid medical conditions had significant differences in oral symptoms compared with those who had fewer than four.” They also found that survey participants taking fewer than four prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications each day had significant differences in voice hoarseness compared to those taking four or more prescription drugs and OTC medications.

Ensuring that dentists are fully aware of all medications and co-existing diseases and conditions may help Sjogren syndrome patients and their dentists in planning treatments for bothersome symptoms, the authors concluded.

See the American Dental Association’s consumer website,, for more information on Sjogren syndrome. (Click From A-Z Topics on the homepage and search by alphabet.)

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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