Sjögren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that reduces the amount of tears in the eyes and saliva in the mouth. As a result, people with Sjögren's syndrome have dry mouth and dry eyes. Dry mouth affects taste, makes chewing and swallowing more difficult, and increases the risk for cavities, tooth loss, and infections in the mouth.
In addition, Sjögren's syndrome may cause skin, nose, and vaginal dryness, and may affect other parts of the body including the kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and brain.
Sjögren's syndrome affects 1-4 million people in the United States and occurs in all races and ethnicities. Most people are more than 50 years old when they are first diagnosed. Women are nine times more likely to have Sjögren's syndrome than men.