Background: Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is one of the most common systemic autoimmune diseases in middle-aged women. The present study had the aim to examine the dental and periodontal condition in patients with SS in comparison with disease controls and to evaluate the influence of reduced salivary flow in the periodontal tissues.
Method: We examined 24 patients with primary or secondary SS in comparison with 27 patients who had another autoimmune disease but no signs or symptoms of SS, as well as with 29 subjects who had a subjective feeling of xerostomia or xerophthalmia without exhibiting an underlying disease. The clinical evaluation included examination of the oral mucosa, determination of missing, decayed and filled teeth, fixed or removable prosthetic appliances, plaque index, gingival index, probing pocket depth, probing attachment level, oral hygiene habits and frequency of dental visits. Statistical analysis was performed using the 2-tailed Fisher exact and Kruskal-Wallis tests.
Results: No significant difference was found in the dental or periodontal condition of the 3 groups. The number of teeth, feelings and distal or mesial decay lesions correlated negatively with age, while the number of fixed prosthetic appliances correlated positively. The salivary flow was statistically lower in patients with SS and exhibited a negative correlation with the number of cervical decay lesions. It was also found that SS patients had better oral hygiene habits than subjects of the control groups.
Conclusions: No significant,difference could be detected concerning the dental and periodontal status of SS patients, compared with that of patients with other immune diseases as well as with that of controls who had subjective xerostomia.