pilocarpine sjogrens syndrome dental healthSjögren’s Syndrome reduces salivary flow from glands in the mouth, called salivary glands. The immune system attacks the salivary glands and reduces or eliminates the moisture of the mouth.

There are two prescription medications that can stimulate saliva production and moisture for your mouth, pilocarpine and cevimeline. Here is a review of pilocarpine:

Pilocarpine (Salagen) – Increases comfort in chewing, swallowing, speaking, singing, playing musical instruments, and general use of the mouth. Reduces the need for using hard candying, liquids, and saliva substitutes. Comes in a tablet form that is derived from American tropical shrubs. It can be taken 3-4 x per day. It stimulates saliva for your mouth.

Pilocarpine makes the mouth moist and helps prevent dental diseases such as cavities. Review the interactions with other medications such as high blood pressure, lung diseases, urinary track, Parkinson’s, irritable bowel syndrome, gall bladder heart or liver disease, mental illness, etc.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are many side effects of taking pilocarpine such as:

  • sweating
  • nausea
  • runny nose
  • diarrhea
  • chills
  • flushing
  • frequent urination
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • heartburn
  • stomach pain
  • swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • decreased fertility for men and women
  • interactions with pregnancy
  • interactions with breastfeeding
  • epilepsy

If you are having any dental surgery, inform your dentist that you are taking pilocarpine. If you are considering replacing your missing teeth or painful dentures, we have developed a great method for patients with Sjögren’s Syndrome. The 3 Minute Implant™ can greatly improve quality of life for the Sjögren’s Syndrome patient.

No more irritating dentures. No more painful cavities. The 3 Minute Implant™ can restore your smile in one visit. With proper planning and preparation, we can renew your quality of life. Better chewing. Better speaking. Better communication with others. For more information about dental implants for the Sjögren’s patient, send us a quick note here.

In a subsequent article, we will discuss increasing saliva with cevimeline medication in Sjögren’s Syndrome patients.


Wishing you the very best,

Dr. Joe Kravitz, DDS, MS

Dentist, Prosthodontist, Author, Researcher

Rockville, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC