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Effects of Salivary Flow on Periodontal Status in Healthy and Sjögren's Syndrome Subjects



Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the the lachrymal and salivary glands. Inflammation of the salivary glands results in a reduction in saliva flow. It has been suggested that individuals with low salivary flow are at greater risk for caries and periodontal disease. However, studies that examine this claim are ambiguous, especially in regards to periodontal disease, and few have studied the spatial distribution of periodontal disease by site. We hypothesize that SS and low saliva flow influence periodontal disease parameters.


A cross-sectional, prospective study of 30 SS patients and 105 healthy controls was undertaken to evaluate salivary flow rates and periodontal parameters, including probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), and bleeding on probing (BOP). Unstimulated whole saliva was collected and measured over 5 minutes. Mean values and distributions for all data variables were obtained.


A comparison between the high and low salivary flow groups showed no significant difference in PD, CAL, BOP and other periodontal parameters tested for either the healthy or SS subjects. Regression lines for the same data plotted against UWS-FR also showed nonsignificant correlations. Finally, an analysis of the tooth segments was performed for descriptive analysis. For the healthy controls the high salivary flow group showed lower PDs and BOP scores compared to the lower flow group but the opposite was seen for the SS subjects.


• Unstimulated whole saliva flow does not appear to have an effect on the periodontal status of healthy and SS subjects when making comparisons on a patient level

• Unstimulated whole saliva flow appears to affect the periodontal status, especially bleeding on probing, when comparing subjects at tooth/segmental level

• The effects of unstimulated whole saliva flow appear to affect the periodontal status of healthy and SS subjects differently suggesting other factors may have a bigger influence on the periodontium

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