Sjögren’s Syndrome

Learning Objectives

After completing the course, you’ll be able to:

  1. Distinguish between dry mouth that is related to true secretory hypofunction and one that may be psychogenic.
  2. Explain the autoimmune response system that causes Sjögren’s syndrome and the role played by hereditary and environmental factors.
  3. Identify and diagnose other causes of dry eyes and dry mouth.
  4. Outline the therapeutical treatment approach for Sjögren’s syndrome that is directed at improving symptoms, preventing the complications and retarding the disease progression.
  5. List the salivary and nonsalivary courses of complaints of xerostomia.
  6. Demonstrate Schimer Tear test to determine the eye dryness.
  7. Describe the treatment of dry eyes in Sjögren’s syndrome patients.
  8. List the choice of artificial tears commercially available and point out seven considerations that the patient and the physician must take into account in their selection and usage.
  9. Discuss the advantages and side effects caused by certain medications used by Sjögren’s syndrome patient to alleviate dry mouth or oral mucositis, such as Benadryl, steroids, tetracycline and mouthrinses.
  10. Provide treatment alternatives to oral Candida mucositis, oral dryness and tooth decay in Sjögren’s patients.
  11. Provide a treatment protocol for nasal dryness, sinusitis and upper airway dryness in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome.
  12. Discuss gynecologic issues–vaginal dryness, estrogen replacement therapy, risks of pregnancy–with patients who have Sjögren’s syndrome.
  13. Distinguish between two types of fatigue in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome: inflammatory fatigue and morning fatigue.
  14. Evaluate the symptoms and causes of fatigue and sleep disturbances in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome and suggest behavioral modifications and pharmaceutical interventions.
  15. Analyze depression in Sjögren’s syndrome patients and indicate antidepressant drugs that may provide relief.
  16. Discuss heartburn and esophageal motility in Sjögren’s syndrome and suggest a few relief measures.
  17. Discuss the results of clinical trials testing pilocarpine tablets for the treatment of dry mouth and dry eye symptoms in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome.
  18. List some of the adverse experiences occurring with pilocarpine tablets.

To assess the effectiveness of the course material, we ask that you evaluate your achievement of each learning objective on a scale of A to D (A=excellent, B=good, C=fair, D=unsatisfactory). Please indicate your responses next to each learning objective and return it to us with your completed exam.

Course Contents

Sjögren’s Syndrome $48.00

4 Contact Hours


The Symptoms of Sjögren’s Syndrome

What Causes Sjögren’s Syndrome

Other Causes of Dry Eyes and Dry Mouth

  • Increased Dryness Is a Side Effect of Other Disease

Approaches to Treatment

  • The Dry Mouth
  • The Dry Eyes
  • Nasal Dryness, Sinusitis, and Upper Airway Dryness
  • Skin Dryness
  • Gynecologic Issues
  • Myalgias and Arthralgias
  • Fatigue
  • Depression in Sjögren’s Syndrome

Patient Support Groups

Role of the Diet and Nutrition

Heartburn and Esophageal Motility in Sjögren’s Syndrome

Medications in Treatment of Sjögren’s Syndrome

Particular Needs of the Sjögren’s Patient at the Time of Surgery

Additional Reading

  • Table 1 Criteria for Diagnosis of Primary and Secondary Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Table 2 Causes of Keratitis and Salivary Gland Enlargement Other Than Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Table 3 Extraglandular Manifestations in Patients With Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Table 4 Commercial Preparations of Artificial Tears and Saliva
  • Table 5 Sinusitis
  • Table 6 Treatment For Skin and Mucous Membrane Manifestations
  • Table 7 Systemic Medications for Treating Autoimmune Diseases
  • Table 8 Drugs Associated With Decreased Salivary Secretion and Increased Oral Dryness
  • Table 9 ICD-9 CM Code Assignments for Sjögren’s Syndrome, Manifestations, Symptoms and Related Disorders
  • Table 10: Special Needs of the Sjögrens Syndrome Patient at the Time of Surgery

Sjögren’s Syndrome: Dental Role in Providing Relief

  • Introduction
  • Clinical Findings
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Table 1Differential Diagnosis of Xerostomia
  • Table 2Methods of Evaluating Salivary Status
  • Clinical Considerations
  • Conclusions
  • References

Problems Associated With the Dry Mouth of Sjögren’s Syndrome

  • Problems of Dry Mouth
  • Oral Mucositis
  • Anti-Yeast Medication
  • Difficult Choices
  • Additional Reading
  • Table 1. Prevalence of Signs and Symptoms in Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Table 2. Subjective Oral Dryness Symptoms

Pilocarpine Tablets for the Treatment of Dry Mouth and Dry Eye Symptoms in Patients With Sjögren’s Syndrome

  • Introduction
  • Clinical Trial
  • Results
  • References

Sjögren’s Syndrome: Patient Information

  • Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Medications
  • Exercise
  • Support and More Information

Sjögren’s Syndrome Glossary

  • Immunologic Terms
  • Opthalmic Terms
  • Xerostomic (Dry Mouth) Terms
  • Appendix A: List of Products Frequently Used by People With Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Post-Test