Does anyone have arthritis in their jaw?: I seem to... - NRAS


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Does anyone have arthritis in their jaw?

PaulineS profile image

I seem to have arthritis in my jaw whether it's RA or OA I'm not sure as I have a combination for both. I just know that it's getting quite sore & wonder what the future holds.

21 Replies

Hi I have also been getting pain in the left side of my jaw near my ear but like you I have RA and OA so I don't know which one it is, sorry, maybe someone else can help both of us.

Wendy x

Wendy It's interesting isn't it? My Rheumy suggested that it is RA if it's in both sides, however mine started on the left side but is on the right now as well although not as bad as the left.

Pauline x

Hi Pauline. There has been a few previous blogs on RA in the jaw and jaw problems. Have a look on them for information. Briefly tho the main thing to find out is if it IS RA. First step is go to the rhuemy dept for analysis and possible x-ray.if they are not sure ask for a referral to the dental dept if they have one as it may be a bite/teeth problem. If they cannot do this go to your dentist and have them check it out or again get you referred to a hospital dental unit. Hope this helps.

Wendy It's interesting isn't it? My Rheumy suggested that it is RA if it's in both sides, however mine started on the left side but is on the right now as well although not as bad as the left

Thanks dtech!

Pauline x

Yes. Mine will be enthesitis (spondyloarthritis). Its definitely possible to have any form of arthritis in the jaw. As dtech has said, important to find out if its inflammatory or not, because if its inflammatory then you need better anti-inflammation treatment to keep it from doing permanent damage. I got really good advice from a dentist on how to "unlock" my jaw when it got really seized up, and the movement he showed me wasn't at all what I would have thought would have worked.

I have RA and i have it in my jaw, never thought to ask my dentist for advice thanks earthwith for that tip. The pain goes right up into my ear took awhile to realise what it was as i thought it was a ear infection, toothache as i have never had toothache or a realky bad sore throat but i could not open my mouth enough to eat.

Well I did have active RA in my jaw a few years ago when my RA wasn't well controlled... and now I have OA on one side.

Hi , Mine comes and goes has been doing this for 5 years it is like TMJ , now it has gone away i can eat an apple etc, but when it comes back (and there is no reason for it to do so) i can hardly open my mouth and yawning is a nightmare, so i think its the nature if the beast really as when it happens i have to rest my mouth shut ,with my teeth apart( orthodontist told me this) it does seem to ease it but it flares up as soon as i try to eat, at the moment it has gone , but no telling when it will be back , i had it for 6 months last time .

Hidden profile image

My jaw has been destroyed by RA, it's pretty bad but I'm still managing to eat. I can't eat any chewy sweets or anything hard/crunchy like carrots and some other things are impossible to eat but for the most part, I get by. I saw a jaw specialist who says they can wash the joint out and it does bring symptom relief but I didn't fancy it, I'm coping with it. I feel for you, it's painful and when it clicks....owww!

earthwitch profile image
earthwitch in reply to Hidden

I know that clicking well! My jaw can get incredibly noisy at times.

I seem to mirror a lot of what classique is saying. Mine comes and goes .. It flares with the rest of me but my dentist says my temple and jaw muscles are knotted stiff and hard like stones from clenching/tensing. I am putting immense pressure on my arms and shoulders when pressing down on walking sticks, to alleviate swollen rigid knees which is making my jaw tense and this travels all the way up into my shoulders and neck so no wonder the jaw is stiff. I wake with a heavy jaw and head so my dentist has made made me a lower jaw guard for nights as he says he believes I will be clenching/tensing my jaw (not grinding though thankfully!) and making my jaw and muscles rigid. He touched on the exact places and said they should not feel tender and I nearly hit the ceiling. I collect the guard next week. I have a lot of clicking too so suspect some OA in there at the back of the jaw. I also had xrays as I had a root canal mid April but all is well there.

earthwitch profile image
earthwitch in reply to Neonkitty

a bit off topic, but if you are having difficulty with sticks, ask to see a physio and try out crutches - they can make walking an enormous amount easier, though you do need to make sure they give you crutches with the anatomic grip so its not so hard on your hands.

I also have jaw trouble, I was diagnosed with TMD due to grinding my teeth at night. I have the lower guard which really helps. It is horrible & very painful when it flares up. A bit of advice I got from my dentist was to eat soft food when it's flaring. No big baguettes unfortunately.

Hi Earthwitch, I have an appointment next Tuesday with my physio at my request, to try out various crutches. ;-). Thanks for your comment. Spot on. xx

How true, Franbie ... Crusty bread impossible with a clicky painful jaw. xx

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Hi Pauline,

Yes I also have RA both sides of my jaw at the TM joint - was so surprised when I felt it at first and like you could not work out what it was. I am responsible for training a UK team and that was when I fist felt it, after lecturing for an hour was in tears with the pain in my jaw. Ran It past my rheumatology nurse and she confirmed that you can get RA anywhere.

I have yet to go to the dentist although they are now aware that I may have problems when it comes to my teeth being examined--am waiting for my RA to settle a little more before I take that on

Gentle hugs


This just started for me too. I'm not sure if it's arthritis or if it's some sort of TMJ that is temporary. It could even be an earache or a headache (but it doesn't seem to be) I'm almost positive it's not dental since none of my teeth or gums are sensitive at all.

The pain is so intense right now, i feel like screaming. Does anybody know, if this IS arthritis, what i can do to minimize the pain? Because it's like lightening in my jaw and it's becoming unbearable.

I did have it quite bad in the early days of RA many years ago and worried it was going to be a problem. I had/have both RA an OA too. Chewing was hard but it settled down after about a year and no longer a problem. Think the RA was just having a move round and going in all places it felt like. Hope you can get some relief soon and my physio gave me lots of jaw exercises to do. Also worth seeing your dentist about it as they are usually knowledgeable on this too. If the jaw has tension and you are holding it tense in your sleep, they can make you a clear plastic guard for sleeping so the jaw is gently kept in better position. Not too expensive .. £30 - 40. I used one but don't need to now. Good luck Pauline. xx

I was diagnosed with arthritis in my jaw just yesterday and they've told me that I'm to have an operation to put metal rods into my jaw to help ease the pain. I'm not entirely sure if it's RA or OA but I do have it in both sides, one more than the other, and I know that both sides usually means RA. The doctor said that the rods will ease the pain for a few years and then after that, when I'm a bit older (as I'm only 23 at the moment) they will consider inserting a metal joint hinge in my jaw.. that was the "future plan" they had for me yesterday, though it may have been because I have quite a lot of jaw damage on one side - not sure if without the jaw damage they'd put forward the operation as a possibility. I've yet to see a rheumy regarding the rest of my body, but pretty sure I also have it in my hip and knee caps!

hi im 15 and I have polyarticular rheumatoid juvenile arthritis in all my joints so I know how bad the pain can be

flow4 profile image
flow4 in reply to laura2199

Hello Laura :) This is a very old thread so may not get much traffic... See you on one of the more recent threads, maybe, or start your own! 😀

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