Dental students with support from Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise, have worked with local people with Sjögren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune rheumatic disease) to create an oral health advice leaflet which is to be made available via the British Sjögren’s Syndrome Association.
The students worked with the local group of those with the condition including visits to Dental Education Facility at Derriford, Plymouth, for information and advice presentations, and to the Wrigley Company Limited factory in Plymouth. Chewing sugar free gum may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of dry mouth.
In terms of oral health, those with Sjögren’s Syndrome need to take greater care with oral hygiene than most because they do not produce sufficient levels of saliva which help to control acid levels within the mouth.
Working with local people with the condition, dental students have produced a useful credit card-sized fold-out leaflet that provides advice and information on tooth brushing, cleaning aids, advice on foods to avoid, safe snacks, tips for a more comfortable night-time and potential stimulants for saliva – which include sugar-free chewing gum.
Sue Sharp from the local Sjögren’s Syndrome group, said: “Our group has benefited greatly from the contact we have had with the students. We have enjoyed the interaction with them. They are very enthusiastic and have given much thought to helping us with the problems we experience with our dry mouths and have developed a very useful tool to help us.”