Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the oral properties of Sjögren's syndrome (SS), including the determination of palatal saliva (PS) flow rate. Subjects and methods: Forty-nine SS patients and 43 healthy controls participated. Subjective symptoms were recorded and clinical assessments of the oral mucosal, dental and periodontal status were made. Unstimulated whole saliva (WS) and PS flow rates, the number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMF-T number), the gingival bleeding index (GBI) and the periodontal probing depth (PPD) were determined. Results: Despite the decrease in the flow rate of WS in SS patients, PS was not different from those of the controls (1.57 ± 1.02 and 1.35 ± 2.5 μl cm-2 min-1, respectively). GBI (20.0% vs. 10.5%, respectively), DMF-T (27.1 ± 6.12 vs. 23.0 ± 6.99, respectively) and PPD (2.28 ± 1.09 mm vs. 1.82 ± 0.73 mm, respectively) were higher in SS compared with the controls (P < 0.05). DMF-T and PPD showed a positive correlation with anti-SSA and/or anti-SSB antibody positivity in the serum (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Data of the present study suggest that the subjective feeling of xerostomia in SS patients is the result of a decrease in the volume of the whole saliva, and not of the viscous PS. Correlation of DMF-T and PPD with autoantibody positivity reveals that the oral health status of SS patients may be associated with the general autoimmune process.
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