Updated: Mar 2, 2021
If you have managed to land on my website. Chances are you have been diagnosed with (or on the search for diagnosis) Sjogren's.
Sjogren's is a complex, systemic disease, which means is can attack any part of the body. Sjogren's typically presents as damaging the moisture producing glands, which includes the salivary glands.
Dry mouth is one of the most common symptoms of Sjogren's; although it is not felt by every person with Sjogren's.
If you are one of the many Sjogren's dry mouth suffers, I want to tell you - I feel you!
Seriously, this is a horrible symptom. It can impact every aspect of life from swallowing and eating, to talking and communicating.
At it's worst it can absolutely debilitate you.
I help to run a local support group for the Sjogren's society of Canada. Every single person shows up with a large water bottle to our meetings. We know how hard it is to talk without moisture in the mouth, to lubricate the tongue and lips.
We all sip our water, and we talk about water, and we show off our favorite water bottles. It's almost comical. We could be ambassadors for water bottle companies!
If you are new to Sjogren's you may be wondering Why is saliva so important? Here are a few things you need to know about saliva and how it impacts your body:
Saliva helps protect against periodontal disease and decay.
Well, your teeth are typically covered with a layer of saliva. That layer helps to fight against bacteria. Saliva itself has antimicrobial agents, which help kill the bacteria in the oral cavity. Saliva is basically a superhero, am I right?
In addition to all this, saliva also helps sweep away small bits of food that get stuck in your teeth. When food get's stuck, it can start a domino effect of tooth decay.
Saliva also has minerals that help remineralize the enamel. How amazing is that?
Well, I hope by now you can see just how important saliva is for your body.
You may be wondering, what do Sjogren's patients need to do to help keep saliva flowing in their mouth?
I have many things I do to manage my dry mouth, depending on how severe I am feeling it.
Today I wanted to share those things with you, so here goes!
I put fruit in my water
lemon, cucumbers, strawberries, mint. This helps to ignite the saliva glands.
I brush my teeth after every meal
sometimes after a snack too. I do this to remove all the sugar and debris from my teeth. I floss my teeth too!
I use X-Pur products.
They are a pro-science brand that uses profits for research. How amazing is that? They specialize in dry mouth products, and you can find them both in your local pharmacy and online.
I use Biotene products
Biotene has many dry mouth products on the market also. You can find them both in pharmacy and online.
I use any sugar free gum or mints
While X-pur products are certainly some of the best I have found, there are various other products on the market. I recommend trying a few and finding which one works best for you.
I get regular checkups with my dentist
It's important for your dental health to get regular checkups with your dentist. I get scaling done every 3 months. Dental care can be expensive, if you cannot afford to see your dentist or dental hygienist this often, talk to your dentist and see what else you can be doing to manage your dental health in between visits.
Prescription medications are available that stimulate saliva production
Ask your doctor about Pilocarpine (Salagen) and cevimeline (Evoxac).
I hope that this list can help you better manage your dry mouth symptoms.
If there is something you would add to the list, please comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
As always, I wish you Health and Happiness,
RDH Magazine, Article The daily struggle with Sjogren's syndrome: Guiding dental patients to relief from pain