Dental Implants Provide Relief from Oral Inflammation in Sjögren’s Patient, Case Report Shows

Vijaya Iyer, PhD avatar

by Vijaya Iyer, PhD |

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Dental implants with fitted crowns provided comfort and relieved inflammation in a Sjögren’s syndrome patient experiencing discomfort with removable dentures, according to a case report from dental surgeons in Japan.

The report, “Implant-supported Prostheses in Patient with Sjögren’s Syndrome: Clinical Report with 3-year Follow-up,” was published in the journal The Bulletin of Tokyo Dental College.

Patients with Sjögren’s syndrome experience dry eyes and mouth due to the autoimmune attack of the tear and salivary gland. Decreased saliva results in recurrent caries, pain in the mouth, and poorer dental conditions, often requiring tooth removal and use of dentures. Due to the lack of saliva, inflammation is also widespread even in patients with dentures.

Here, Japanese researchers report the case of a 50-year-old woman with Sjögren’s syndrome who visited the Tokyo Dental College Suidobashi Hospital with pain in her mouth and an inability to chew.

One year before the visit she had a root fracture for which she underwent tooth removal and had removable partial dentures placed. Despite several adjustments and a complete recovery following the procedure, she experienced pain while using the dentures.

The doctors recommended dental implants to help ease her pain and regain denture functionality. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry refers to dental implants as “artificial tooth roots” that help support artificial teeth (dentures) or crowns.

The surgery was performed in stages. First, the dental surgeon placed eight implants in the first and second molar tooth region in the upper and lower jaw bone. A four-month recovery period was provided to help with the healing of the tooth region.

She was advised to use an antimicrobial rinse four to five times a day during this time, referred to as the “non-loading” period.

Three months later, the second stage of the surgery was performed, and a temporary crown was placed. Doctors noticed a positive response to the temporary crown for three weeks with no tooth pain or problems with pronunciation. For the final step, the dental surgeon chose a screw-retained structure with zirconia crowns to make cleaning and access to the implant easier.

After implant surgery, the patient visited a dental hygienist every one to two months for the proper maintenance of the dental implant.

The patient did not report any complications, and no inflammation of the area surrounding the implant was noted at the three-year follow-up.

“These findings suggest that implant treatment in patients with [Sjögren’s syndrome] offers a viable alternative to removable partial dentures,” the study concluded.


Diana Evans avatar

Diana Evans

Is there anywhere to get assistance for implants for people who are on disability,65 years old, with sjogren's.

Diana Evans avatar

Diana Evans

What do we need to do as a country to get our medical system and insurance companies to recognize sjogren's is causing major damage to people's teeth, mouth and we can't all afford implants. Because of sjogren's dentures are never going to be an answer because they will have to be reset constantly because of bone loss they will move around in the mouth and cause sores. Why can't our healthcare system pay for dentures with two implants on top and two on bottom to hold the denture and for a longer lifetime. More and more people are getting elderly and losing their teeth, more and more people are getting elderly and losing their teeth from sjogren's. Surely this must be a medical problem beyond anyting a person could ever take care of for themselves this needs to fall under medical infected tooth like I almost did I didn't know it was infected. Currently have an abscessed tooth because my mouth is so dry. What can we do about this? People with autoimmune diseases such as sjogren's and Raynaud's, arthritis, we all need protection from our dentist or we're all going to live a short unhappy life. I'm so depressed right now at fairly 64 and lost all but six teeth on the bottom, no it's not from meth, it's from having a severely dry mouth with an appliance I can't wear without it irritating. Please help us,!!

Patti Cornetet avatar

Patti Cornetet

I can so relate. On top if all you shared, sadly family & friends fo not understand. I even went jn for a dental cleaning at my dentist’s office who always shows concerns of my battle w/sjogrens. On that day though i began w/the hygienist lecturing me on the need of hygiene care, etc. to the point i began fighting tears & felt such anxiety that she became upset with me!! Basically stating I didn’t care for my teeth!! Even though I brush 3-4x daily w/prescription paste, fluoride trays & mouthwash prescribed by dentist! She failed to ever look jn my chart & made false assumptions about me even after i shared i suffered w/am extreme case of Primary Sjogrens. I asked her to get my dentist & that she leave the room which she did & i had a good cry. My dentist was apologetic & stated she would not wk with me in the future. But the emotional damage was done! People cannot see our disease & we get little consideration from others. I even dealt w/a situation earlier where i was forced to stand in a very long line at the airport. My husband went yo bst explaining I was unable to stand anymore after almost 45 min past. They said i did nit look disabled & if i must complain they’d see about locating a chair & while making this statement they waved a man in a wheel chair thru, getting ahead of all. He was extremely strong and moved w/ease & yes, sitting down, yet i was forced to stand w/extreme leg pain! I knew then I was seen by others in an unjust way cuz of the lack of knowledge & understanding. Even my own church looked at me as i had mental problems cuz i did not look sick! I never speak to others of my battles medically & no matter how fatigued i am i don't share & push myself cyz I'm tired of others making false assumptions about me. Peoples reactions & ignorance are really damaging & sadly its not so rate if over 4 mil suffer the same! My ins never understands my illness therefore im always penalized by them refusing coverage in so many areas.

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