Pronounced : (show-grens)
Sjögren’s is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person’s white blood cells attack the body’s moisture-producing glands (primarily those that produce tears and saliva) The immune system which normally functions to protect the body against harmful infections attacks the body’s own tissue and organs. [p>
The resulting symptoms commonly include dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue and musculoskeletal pain and vaginal dryness. Sufferers symptoms vary from one another and will not have the same set of symptoms.
Research suggests that genetic factors, coupled with or triggered by, viral infections may be the cause of the disease.
Nine out of ten sufferers are women over 40
There is no cure. The goal is to manage the symptoms. The dry mouth condition is called Xerostomia. Dry Mouth can cause an increase in dental decay, swallowing difficulty, inflamed or bleeding gums (Gingivitis) and Oral Thrush, burning uncomfortable mouths which results in difficulty eating speaking and sleeping continuously through the night. Today, as many as 25% of the population are living with this disease. The number of people afflicted in Australia is approximately 1.2 million people although there is a larger number of the population experiencing dry mouth and eye symptoms as a result of drugs and other environmental factors.
Sjögren's sufferers lack the protective effects of saliva. Saliva has many roles in the mouth including a lubrication, infection fighting and acid buffering action. It contains electrolytes, antibacterial substances and enzymes. Importantly it forms a protective barrier on all the oral tissue called a “salivary pellicle." This protein film protects against acid, bacteria and assists with remineralising the teeth. Without this protective barrier dry mouth sufferers are prone to recurrent infections, caries and cavities. They may also experience difficulty eating, tasting and speaking.
High acid levels in the mouth are a cause of bacteria proliferation and results in infection. Many foods make the mouth more acidic (lower pH). Additionally acidity softens the enamel and makes teeth more vulnerable to decay. The saliva buffers acidity. A dry mouth is more acid and makes oral hygiene more difficult.
Denta-Med Gel assists the salivary pellicle by attaching to the soft and hard tissue of the mouth, hydrating, moisturising and soothing the tissue while slowly releasing anti-bacterial molecules at a measured rate. The Gel is pH neutral and water soluble to cover all parts of the oral cavity. It is designed to comfort sore inflamed mouths.