In what way does RA affect the jaw?

Just over a week ago I was stung by a wasp,it swelled up quite badly & hasn't really gone down, it was on my elbow joint. Anyway I'm not sure if related but since then I've had a flare & really haven't felt well at all. Up until then I was beginning to convince myself that the docs have got it all wrong & I should stop the meds n get on with my life,well I got that wrong! Yesterday my jaw & ear were so painful I didn't know what to do with myself. I can't take painkillers but today it's gone. Am I right in thinking it has to be RA? An infection wouldn't disappear overnight would it? & could a sting cause a flare. This is the worst I've felt in months. x

20 Replies

  • i also suffer a lot with my is often very painful and sometimes locks so struggle to open or close it...any joint in the body can be affected by ra...iit does tend to move around a lot...hope it eases for you soon xx

  • Thanks for the reply. Does it cause your ear to be painful? x

  • yes it did ..and often the whole side of my head x

  • Yes that sounds like what I had,only one side x

  • RA used to affect my jaw, and although it didn't hurt too much, I would find it very difficult to open my mouth wide enough to eat an apple.

    I wonder if the wasp sting unbalanced your immune response and triggered a reaction, which your tablets have successfully calmed again?

    It might be worth getting a GP to look at your ear, it might be something unconnected with RA. Or it might be an infection which has upset your jaw joint.

  • Thanks for your reply its weird isn't it,just think if it was an ear infection it wouldn't of cleared up so quickly x

  • I get enthesitis in my jaw joint, and it can clear up really quickly.

  • I don't know what that is,it certainly cleared up quickly x

  • Hi Caza,

    I also have RA in my jaw...was so surprised. It is so painful however usually settles after a day..usual pain meds and rest. Have difficulty at the dentist however he is really understanding and is as quick as he can be. Always sore after I give lectures.......hope you get relief soon


  • Hi thanks for the reply, yes it was so painful while it lasted I sort of imagined the jaw being included but the painful ear was unexpected. Still better now just other joints grumbling & so very tired. Hard when you can't tolerate painkillers x

  • hope you are sleeping soundly now Caza. I have jaw problem, it used to be intermittent but for the past three months it is there nearly constantly runs from my ear to throat but pain mostly when opening mouth. I have had ear checked, taken two bouts of antibiotics incase it was sinus and have had a gum thing fitted just in case I was grinding my teeth, Still there I am convinced it is ra, hope yours stays away

  • Morning,yes I did sleep soundly thanks. I clench my teeth at night & have had to teach myself not to do it. I had a gum shield but I sleep walk when really stressed so I'd have to search for it everyday so I gave up. The pain in my ear & jaw only lasted a day but boy was it painful. I don't want that again. Have a good day x

  • Hi Caza, I get quite a lot of jaw pain, usually starts late afternoon or early evening and is very painful but often it has gone the following day and I was told it is RA. The side of my face is a bit painful to lie on, but as I say its often gone the following morning.

    Wendy x

  • Thanks for replying. It was only one side & it's completely gone now. The pain went straight into my ear,I couldn't sleep. The other aches & pains I've learnt to cope with but this went off the scale. I hope it doesn't happen again x

  • The jaw pain can be caused by something called tmj dysfunction and requires a mouth guard made for you by your dentist. Due to the pain we have for RA and possibly other conditions most people dont realise how much they are tensing the muscle around the jaw during the day and at night when sleeping. Its worth speaking to your dentist and gp to confirm x

  • Thanks for your reply. I'm going to check with my dentist hopefully on Friday. My GP won't talk to me about RA as she says she doesn't know enough about it! Getting an appointment with the consultant is impossible & the pains gone now x

  • get your dentist to show you how to move it to "unlock" it if it ever freezes up. My dentist showed me, and it wasn't at all the way I would have thought. I would have been more likely to try and move it in a way that made it worse.

  • Hope they can help. The pain will come back at some point ;) I have some Diazapan in the cupboard for when mine plays up x

  • I have RA and I get this lots. Some days I can only eat soft foods, soup,porridge etc.

    It can disappear as quick as it starts.

    But then again I find a lot of my RA pain (not all unfortunately) can come and go as quick as it starts.

    It makes me miserable some days as all I can do is take my morphine and lie down until

    It goes.

    Hope you get some relief. The dentist idea is a good one.

    I will talk to mine on my next visit.

    Thanks for highlighting this issue. X

  • Thanks for your reply. I couldn't get to the dentist on Friday but plan to go there this week. It's strange how one minute it's so painful that I think I really can't take it anymore (I can't take painkillers ) the next day completely gone weird x

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