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What Is Sjögren’s-Related Salivary Disease?

Sjögren’s-related salivary disease is a complication of the chronic autoimmune disease, Sjögren’s syndrome. Multiple salivary glands can be impacted by this disease at the same time.

Causes of Sjögren’s-Related Salivary Disease

Sjögren’s syndrome attacks the salivary glands that produce tears and saliva, leading to dry eyes and a dry mouth, along with swelling.

Symptoms of Sjögren’s-Related Salivary Disease

Symptoms include:

  • Daily, persistent dry eyes and mouth
  • Swelling and pain on both sides of the mouth
  • Salivary duct strictures
  • Chronic swelling in the parotid gland

Exams and Tests for Sjögren’s-Related Salivary Disease

Many patients who are looking for a diagnosis for their dry eyes, dry mouth and swelling often fear it is lymphoma. Penn ENT’s Salivary Gland Center providers are experts in distinguishing between lymphoma and Sjögren’s-related salivary disease.

Your doctor will perform a physical exam and may order:

  • An ultrasound
  • An MRI sialogram
  • An assessment of saliva flow and character after giving lemon juice
  • Blood tests
  • A biopsy (if lymphoma is suspected)

Treatment of Sjögren’s-Related Salivary Disease

Penn Medicine’s Sjögren’s Syndrome Program, part of Penn Rheumatology, is the only major treatment center for this disease within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia and sees patients from all around the world. Penn Rheumatology works in collaboration with Penn ENT, Ophthalmology, and Oral Medicine to treat patients with Sjögren’s-related salivary disease.

Treatment options include:

  • Adequate hydration, massage, heat and antibiotics
  • Steroid or BOTOX injections
  • Medications for dry mouth
  • Sialendoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure, that can remove obstructions or mucus plugs in the salivary glands without the side effects of traditional surgery. Penn ENT’s Salivary Gland Center is a national leader in this procedure and one of only two institutions in the Philadelphia region offering this cutting-edge technique.

Learn more about the treatment Penn ENT's Salivary Gland Center provides for salivary gland disorders

Outlook (Prognosis) for Sjögren’s-Related Salivary Disease

Outlook depends on how advanced the condition has become. In many cases, symptoms are relieved by steroid injections and sialendoscopy.

Penn Programs & Services for Sjögren’s-Related Salivary Disease

Salivary Gland Center

Penn Ear, Nose and Throat offers one of the region’s only dedicated salivary gland centers. Our specialists are nationally-recognized experts in diagnosing and treating salivary gland disorders.

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