arthritis in jaw? (help!)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 11/25/2016 3:19 AM (GMT -7)   
So as i've posted about it before, my mom has RA. From a couple of weeks she's feeling pain in the left side of her jaw. and it's really bad because she's having pain chewing food and even has some swelling. she doesn't have any tooth pain. so can it be because of arthritis? and if arthritis does hit the jaw, how bad can it get? as it's not scary already without this. anyone here has experienced it? what are our options? we're seeing the rheum soon about it

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 11/25/2016 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes, I've had pain and creaking sounds when I open and close my mouth, in the past. Sometimes RA sneaks into every joint available. They become inflamed and can erode the bones through time.

I went to my Dental Hygienist for bi-yearly cleaning and was experiencing pain when I opened my mouth as she asked and at home when I was trying to eat hard or chewy foods. My Dentist asked if I was grinding my teeth at night. Well, I'm asleep when I'm sleeping, so I didn't know. I asked my Hubby later(he is a light sleeper) and he said he hadn't heard any unusual "noises" coming from my side of the bed. :D

My Dentist said it was probably RA. I believe it. He advised me on some mouth exercises and made me a mouth guard for the bottom jaw to wear at night and during the day if I needed to. I also used hot and/or cold compresses whichever worked better each day and no chewing gum, if i did. I haven't had jaw pain in quite some time.(touch wood). I probably just jinxed myself.

Your Mom could have exrays done also, if she feels that she needs them. It takes a while before erosion shows up in the bones though. Her jaw pain may be occurring due to some other condition. Keep in mind that I've had RA for 34.5 years and I didn't have the jaw pain until I had RA for about 31 years.
Type 1 Diabetes - Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) - Asthma - Hypounawareness - secondary Raynauds - Osteoarthritis - Dry Eye - other stuff

Coversyl - Pantoloc(as irritation preventative) - Levemir - Indomethacin - long acting Morphine - short acting Morphine - Salbutamol - Prednisone - Humalog - Tears Naturelle II - Aspirin(81 mgs.) - Cod Liver Oil Caps - Vit D other OTC

Post Edited (msOuchie) : 11/25/2016 12:15:46 PM (GMT-7)

celebrate life
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2082
   Posted 11/27/2016 12:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi voice,
I also get tmj occasionally since I got RA. Fortunately it is the one flare that doesn't get really bad and it usually goes away on a day or two if I try to take it easy on my mouth.
I like to talk, so it's an effort for me to take a break turn

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 11/30/2016 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes I get it as well in my jaw and it really sucks trying to eat. Just got over a bout with it in fact.

I have not found anything that helps with it besides rest and time unfortunately :(

Hope she feels better soon.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2016
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/13/2016 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Voice!

I have been struggling with this for the past few years so hopefully I can shed some light to help. I was diagnosed with RA in 2012 and thought I had 'mild' TMJD since... 2006 or so (nothing to serious). In 2014 I started to feel extreme pain in my right jaw along with headaches spreading all the way down the right side of my face and into the back of my head and at times going into my right shoulder and ribcage. There were a few episodes where I could not drive because I couldn't turn my head right to check my blind spot and also where the pain in my ribcage became so overwhelming that I could barely walk or take deep breaths. I started seeing a Physical Therapist as dentists really can't do anything other than offer a mouthguard (TMJD doesn't always mean grinding). You will need to call around town to different PT offices to ask who specializes in TMJD. Finding the right PT has helped to alleviate my headaches & jaw pain. I can now fully (almost) open my mouth again!

The good news!
The PT appointments can be very pleasant... essentially you get a myofascial and head/neck deep tissue massage - and then they will show you exercises to help build your facial and jaw and neck muscles. I practice these everyday.

The bad news!
I worry that the TMJD if not managed can affect the symmetry of your face...etc. I've read about it in a few forums so something to think about and stay on top of.

Another Thought:
I don't know if what I actually have is TMJD or RA in my jaw. The doctors don't seem to feel a need to "clarify" which it is... and perhaps that's because they don't know. I just look at it as... add one more thing to the list of ailments.

I hope this helps? Would love to hear from anyone else suffering from this... thoughts? how they manage?
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