Oral dryness and Sjögren's: an update


Key Points

  • Discusses the causes and impact of dry mouth.

  • Discusses the management of dry mouth and Sjögren's.

  • Highlights those patients who should be referred to a specialist centre for management


Oral dryness is a very common condition presenting to a general dental practitioner or hospital specialist. The most common cause of oral dryness is drug related, however, patients with Sjögren's syndrome, a multisystem autoimmune condition, may present to their dentist rather than their GP complaining of dry mouth and dry eyes. This update article explores the causes of oral dryness and how to manage it. The update on Sjögren's syndrome explains the latest relevant diagnostic criteria, presenting signs, symptoms, investigations and management principles.

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Figure 4: Labial salivary gland biopsy.
Figure 5: Focal lymphocytic sialadenitis.
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Correspondence to P. J. Shirlaw.

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Shirlaw, P., Khan, A. Oral dryness and Sjögren's: an update. Br Dent J 223, 649–654 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.882

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