• primary Sjögren's syndrome;
  • saliva;
  • sodium;
  • potassium;
  • statherin;
  • proline-rich proteins;
  • salivary gland biopsy;
  • dental and periodontal status;
  • oral mucosa

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate salivary gland function, saliva composition and oral findings in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS) subdivided into patients with and without focus score ≤1 (FS) and/or antibodies to SSA/SSB (AB) as well as in healthy controls.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Unstimulated (UWS) and chewing stimulated (SWS) whole saliva, and stimulated parotid saliva (SPS) were collected in 16 patients fulfilling the European classification criteria for pSS subdivided into those with FS and/or AB (n= 8) and those without FS and AB (n= 8), and in age-matched (n= 14) and young healthy controls (n= 13).UWS and SWS were analysed for Na+ and K+.SPS was analysed for Na+, K+, statherin, and proline-rich proteins (PRPs).Sicca symptoms, DMFT/DMFS, plaque (PI) and gingival (GI) scores, periodontal pocket depth (PPD), and mucosal status were recorded.

RESULTS: The young healthy controls had lower UWS as compared to the aged controls (P= 0.03).However, the aged controls had higher DMFT/DMFS (P < 0.001) and PI, GI and PPD (P < 0.01).Patients with FS and/or AB generally had lower saliva secretory rates than patients without FS and/or AB (P= 0.01 for UWS and SPS) and age-matched healthy controls (P= 0.001). There was no significant difference in the content of Na+ and K+, statherin and PRPs between groupS. Patients with FS and/or AB had the highest frequency of oral mucosal changes and higher DMFT/DMFS than patients without FS and/or AB and healthy controls (P < 0.01).However, PI, GI, and PPD did not differ significantly. CONCLUSION: Patients with FS and/or AB had lower salivary secretory rates, higher DMFT/DMFS, and more oral mucosal changes than patients without FS and/or AB.Additionally, data suggest that salivary gland function in healthy individuals do not decrease with age.