Other common Sjogren's syndrome symptoms include:
- Upset Stomach
- Chronic Fatigue
- Muscle and Joint Pain
Sjogren's syndrome has also been linked to neurological problems, inhibiting the ability to concentrate and causing memory loss. This is often described as feeling like a "brain fog." Liver problems may also be evident, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). Numbness and tingling in the feet and recurring bronchitis are other warning signs.
Currently, there is no cure for Sjogren's syndrome. However, certain prescription medicines and over-the-counter products can help ease certain symptoms like dry eyes, dry mouth and upset stomach. Avoiding salty, spicy and acidic foods, drinking plenty of water and chewing sugar-free gum can help with dry mouth. Rubbing Vitamin E oil on dry skin areas can ease itchiness and help heal cracks. And visiting the dentist regularly is critical for those with Sjogren's, since the syndrome can exacerbate dental decay.
Before taking medications for Sjogren's treatment, a positive diagnosis from a number of specialists is required. Due to the nature of the symptoms -- not all symptoms are evident at the same time and many affect different parts of the body -- blood tests, vision tests and dental tests are required; no single test can confirm a diagnosis. Rather, the combination of these tests is designed to measure criteria determined by experts to be indicative of Sjogren's syndrome: dryness symptoms, changes in the mouth and eyes and other findings that affect the whole body.
A rheumatologist is primarily responsible for managing Sjogren's syndrome, but patients may also be treated by a number of specialists including opthalmologists, optometrists and dentists. Dentists typically take a series of tests to measure salivary flow and the functioning of salivary glands in addition to monitoring decay levels.
Find a Dentist
While Sjogren's isn't curable, it is treatable. With an early diagnosis and proper treatment, complications are reduced and quality of life is enhanced. A dentist is part of team who can help manage symptoms for you, so if you need one who's experienced working Sjogren's patients, we can help.