Inflammation in gland and jaw - anyone had this?

I have felt very tired lately. Gland in neck was a bit swollen and dr. confirmed this. Thought an infection may have caused it. Went down over the weekend then swoll up again and this time my cheek was puffy - looked like a chip monk! thought mumps? but dr. this morning said no, just a bit of inflammation form an infection - but of course now it's all gone down and looks normal! Throat is okay too. I asked if RA could cause this inflammation but like most GPs he said not, arthritis wouldnt do this (or affect the jaw), but I know my body and I have had inflammation in ribs, jaws, necks etc. before, just never a swollen cheek!

Anyone else had this happen? Thanks.

9 Replies

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  • Hi, I wonder if this is Sjogren's Syndrome. Have you had RA for long?

    The inflammation in RA can affect your salivary glands and cause this chip monk effect. And it may cause dry mouth and eyes too. And especially fatigue.

    After many years of RA, I started with swollen parotoid glands - the mumps glands - and sore eyes and a vaguely sore throat which came and went. My RA consultant sent me for tests at the dental hospital, and Sjogren's was confirmed. It needs treating as it can affect your teeth.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks Phoebe, I will ask my consultant about this as I do have dry mouth and eyes. Had RA 12 yrs. Teeth are always okay when I get check ups, but you never know. Fatigue hits me a lot but the RA does that doesnt it? Thanks for this, i will check it out as its the first time I've had this in this particular part of my body. Did have glandular fever when I was 18 (I'm now 63) so thought it was just a recurrence of swollen glands cos of being run down.

    Will look into it.

    Lynn x

  • One of the Healthunlocked Communities on this website covers Sjogrens' Syndrome. Its the TASSA site. (The Australian Sjogren's Syndrome Assoc.)

    RA related disease is generally milder and called Secondary Sjogren's. I have had RA for 20 years and Sjogren's is an added bonus for us long serving patients!

  • Makes me wonder why your GP doesn't know about this Lynn? Mind GPs often don't seem to. A friend of mine couldn't open her jaw on and off for a few weeks and the GP referred her to a specialist (I think he is an ortho) but told her that it was probably arthritis (OA) in her jaw as she also has it in her knee. If our GP knew that then yours should too it seems to me?

    Mind you I had really terrible pain in neck last October which then went down into both shoulders and my GP said it wouldn't be RA but of course I know it was - he said same with backache too. RA can go anywhere I am starting to think. I've had a pain above my tooth under my nose on and off for weeks and dentist said it wasn't in my teeth - suggested either sinus infection after a cold or RA perhaps. It's back again today and is really annoying me - think it must be RA as I'm twingeing all over the place a bit. I'm only a year in and here am I wingeing - like Polly I can't imagine having it for decades. Ah well hey ho! TTx

  • Hi - I will check out the website on Sjogrens. GPs I have discovered are quite ignorant about RA symptoms. I had chest pains that were in the "bones" not deep inside like my heart and I just assumed it was RA. My neighbour, also RA, agreed with me as her consultant said yes, you can get pain and inflammation in any part of your body. I had neck pain that my cons. said wouldnt be RA but I knew it was. GPs arent specialists in RA so i guess we cant expect them to know everything, but each RA cons. seems to have different ideas too. This damp cold weather is affecting me and I know for a fact that climate makes a difference. Much to dr's amusement, I am convinced that eating too many tomatoes causes me trouble - Ive tested this out and we all have to listen to our bodies to some degree. One good thing about having it for a long time is that you learn a lot about how to cope with it and manage it and live a good life despite it! Thanks so much for your reply and good luck with the nose pain! xx

  • Yes, absolutely! I've had that same thing happen on two occasions, years apart. It was a stone in the salivary gland, treatment was to suck on lemons, to make saliva flow and possible flush it out. Also, massaging the area to try to pop it out of the gland.

    However, I had to see a dentist to determine this, who did xrays. You should also, to be sure of what you are dealing with.

    Theanswer to the question: Yes, RA does affect the jaw joints especially and the inflammation can spread through the jaw bones, causing teeth to loosen, then develope infections.

    Good idea to see the dentist, or Oral Surgeon. Sure hope you get some help. I know that is painful! Loretx

  • Thanks Loret - just been to the dentist and all seems to be okay with my teeth. Gland and jaw now gone down completely but interesting to hear about the saliva problem. I will be seeing my consultant beg. of April so am going to ask about this. Ive had jaw ache before where its been hard to chew but this was the first chipmunk lookalike experience I've had! I feel a lot better today and have more energy back so i think I have also been fighting a cold/virus of some kind. I read about Sjorens syndrome so will bear all thsi in mind as well if it happens again. Such fun this RA isnt it? not a simple aches in the joints disease as many seem to think.

    Lynn x

  • I have arthritis in my jaw, my rheumatologist said it is usually the last joint to be affected, but they cant do anything for it as i am already medication for RA (methotrxate and enbrel) so i suffer in silence, apart from the very clicking/cracking when i can eat.

  • Thanks Sarah: I have had jaw pain now for a few years now but this was the first time it made my face swell! Glandular fever, I had at 18 yrs old so thought it was also a reoccurrence of that but I do think it was just the RA picking a new place! Lets face it, its got me everywhere else! It does hurt to chew when it happens but not such a bad thing as I am trying to lose some weight.

    Thanks again and take good care of yourself.

    Lynn x

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