Sjögren’s Syndrome is an auto-immune disease that causes moisture-producing glands to be attacked by white blood cells. And the symptoms show it. Skin, eyes, nose, and mouth all become dry. Dry mouth is caused by a decrease in saliva.

Saliva assists in chewing, swallowing, and talking. It reduces the acid in your mouth and protects your teeth from decay. If you have Sjögren’s Syndrome, your doctor can prescribe medication to increase saliva production, but your dentist can help too. Tell your dentist that you have the disease. He or she will:

tell you how to maintain good oral hygiene at home
determine if you need a fluoride rinse or prescription fluoride toothpaste
check your teeth and gums frequently for signs of decay
determine if your teeth need to be re-mineralized

There are also some things that you can do to protect your teeth.

Sip water throughout the day.
Avoid acidic beverages (e.g., soda, sports drinks).
Chew gum to increase the flow of saliva.
Use a humidifier at night while you sleep to keep moisture nearby.

This post is sponsored by Carmel dentist Dr. Julia Shalit of Pure Zen Dentistry.