Diagnosis of systemic sarcoidosis prompted by orofacial manifestations: a review of the literature

J Am Dent Assoc. 2006 Jan;137(1):54-60. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.2006.0021.


Background: Sarcoidosis is a multifactorial systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown origin characterized by many potential signs and symptoms, as well as by the presence of noncaseating granulomas in the organs involved. Sarcoidosis also may manifest in the oral and maxillofacial region.

Case description: The authors describe a patient with xerostomia, dysgeusia, oral burning, xerophthalmia and bilateral parotid enlargement. She was diagnosed as having systemic sarcoidosis on the basis of the histologic findings of a biopsy of the labial minor salivary gland, as well as subsequent diagnostic evalutons.

Conclusion and clinical implications: Enlargement of major salivary glands may be the first sign of sarcoidosis in a patient with few other symptoms or clinical findings suggestive of the disease. This case emphasizes the importance of including sarcoidosis in the differential diagnosis of bilateral parotid swelling associated with xerostomia. It also highlights the dentist's potential role in the diagnosis and dental treatment of patients with systemic sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Burning Mouth Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Dysgeusia / diagnosis
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Parotid Diseases / diagnosis
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Xerophthalmia / diagnosis
  • Xerostomia / diagnosis