The diagnosis of conditions
associated with dry mouth
is often a time-consuming task since its causes are so varied and the symptoms are
so many diseases. Because the symptoms are so widespread and the
related to oral dryness
so common, patients often see many doctors in their search for the cause of their problem. Indeed, ofttimes it takes months, even years, before a definitive diagnosis is made. The diagnosis may also require the services of several types of doctors. Prominent among these are the rheumatologist, the ophthalmologist and the dentist.
Four types of information may be used to identify the causative factors of dry mouth
(1) A Proper History and Clinical Examination, with detailed information about your complaints and symptoms; (2) Salivary Tests which measure the flow of saliva and the condition of your salivary glands. Included among these may be Sialometry, Sialography, Salivary Scintigraphy, and/or the Lip Biopsy; (3) Tests on the Eyes (the Schirmer Test, the Rose Bengal and Lissamine Green test and/or a Slit-Lamp exam and (4) Special Blood Tests for diseases which are associated with dryness. included among these are tests for the presence of antibodies which are usually associated with Sjögren's Syndrome (ANA, SSA and SSB), the Rheumatoid Factor (RF), the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), and Immunoglobilins.(IG's).