Complications of Sjogren's Syndrome:

 

  • Dental cavities.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Vision problems including Uveitis.
  • Inflammation of liver, lungs or kidneys.
  • Bladder problems.
  • Nerves: Peripheral neuropathies.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia which is a nerve disorder with stabbing pain usually felt on one side of the face. Pain may be felt in the eyes, nose, forehead, cheek and jaw. TNA USA has a diagram and more info.
  • Connective Tissue Disorders.
  • Lymphoma: cancer of the lymph nodes. (See below)
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Hair Loss
  • Tinnitus: ringing in the ears
  • Meniere's disease
  • Vestibular disorders affecting balance
  • Sleep Problems
  • Swollen salivary glands. Some people develop swelling of the parotid glands, giving the appearance of mumps. This is often on one side at a time, but can eventually become bilateral. The swelling can be without symptoms, can come and go, and eventually, just persist. This occurs because the glands are inflamed.                                                        Some people with Sjögren’s Syndrome actually develop episodes of “parotitis”. During such attacks, the parotid gland becomes quite painful and swollen; there can be fever. Antibiotics do not always work in this situation, and the pain and swelling usually abate spontaneously over two or three weeks. This can become recurrent, and sometimes the glands can become chronically infected, needing to be removed.  From Sjögren’s Syndrome, Part I Clinical Manifestations Arthur A.M.Bookman MD FRCPC, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto Coordinator, Multidisciplinary Sjögren’s Clinic University Health Network Published February 2007, The Sjogren’s Society of Canada, Newsletter 

There are 3 major pairs of major salivary glands:
 

•    Parotid glands: The largest salivary glands, found in front of & just below each ear. 
•    Sublingual glands:  Found under the tongue in the floor of the mouth.
•    Submandibular glands: Found below the jawbone.
 

There are also hundreds of minor salivary glands in the mouth, nose, and larynx. They can only be seen with a microscope.

  • Parotid duct obstruction is when part of your parotid duct becomes blocked. 
  • Saliva then can’t flow normally from the parotid gland into your mouth.
  • Salivary gland stones are the most common cause of this condition.
  • Parotid duct obstruction can cause symptoms like pain and swelling in the area around the back of your jaw.
  • The condition often goes away on its own with minimal treatment.

How is parotid duct obstruction treated?

Your healthcare provider may start with treatments such as:

  • Increasing fluids
  • Applying moist heat to the area
  • Massaging the gland and duct
  • Sucking on candies to promote saliva secretion
  • Using pain medicines
  • Stopping use of any medicines that decrease saliva production, if medically possible

Many symptoms go away quickly with these types of treatments. If your symptoms don’t improve, over time you might need treatments such as:

  • Lithotripsy. This uses shock waves to break up the stone.
  • Wire basket retrieval. This removes the stone through the duct.
  • Sialoendoscopy. This also accesses the stone through the duct.
  • Open surgery. This might include removal of the parotid duct, if other methods fail.

Complications from parotid duct obstruction might require treatment as well.

Most of the time, your parotid gland will work as normal after the blockage is removed.

SAINT LUKE'S HEALTH SYSTEM

Trigeminal neuralgia diagrams below
Trigeminal neuralgia diagrams

Right side: Dermatome distribution of the trigeminal nerve: by Madhero88
Left side: Sensory areas of the head, showing the general distribution of the three divisions of the fifth nerve. Gray's Anatomy.

Visit the sjogren's blog where you can join in the conversation
PREDICTING THE RISK FOR LYMPHOMA DEVELOPMENT IN SJOGREN'S SYNDROME:  
There is an easy to use diagnostic scoring tool for doctors that helps to predict the development of Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma in patient's with SS. 
In this tool there are 7 predictors including:
  • positive  rheumatoid factor 
  • salivary gland enlargement  
  • anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antigen-antibody positivity  
  • lymphadenopathy 
  • Raynaud's syndrome
  • Monoclonal Gammopathy 
  • low C4 levels
The link is here at PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27336863
You can click on the 3 images in the report for more information.

Go to the glossary to get clarification on these terms.

Uveitis (pronounced you-vee-EYE-tis) is caused by inflammatory responses inside the eye. Inflammation is the body's natural response to tissue damage, germs, or toxins. 

Uveitis produces swelling, redness and heat, and can destroy tissues as white blood cells rush to the affected part of the body to contain or eliminate the problem. 

MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT The Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Foundation