Does anyone suffer with Tooth ache / jaw ache with RA ?

From time to time I have been experiencing a sore ache which seems to be coming from the jaw just on one side of the mouth which goes into the ear. When the pain subsides it leaves me with a stiff jaw -- like the feeling you get after dental treatment and the anaesthetic is wearing off. The pain has been about the same before & after a filling . I see my dentist in 2 weeks time -- just finished a 5 day course of antibiotics from the dentist . If anyone has had a similar problem I would like to hear your thoughts. Hope you are all doing well out there. Jane X

11 Replies

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  • Tooth problems are a known and documented symptom of RA, so I am not surprised to hear you are having problems. The jaw is a joint too so there is no reason why RA should not appear there. Have you spoken to your rheumy nurse?

  • Don't think tooth problems are related to RA but, as pb52, says the joint of the jaw (temporal mandibular joint) can be affected. So ask you rheumy team about it.

  • This is just one of several articles of oral care and RA ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/103...

    Also if you are on codeine or morphine, or other meds that cause a dry mouth, you may need to take precautions against oral disease. My dentist has me using a special toothpaster

  • Yes, and as you describe, it's pain towards the ear. Particularly bad after a recent visit to the dentist where a rookie took an hour to do a simple filling and had to keep my mouth open all that time. I also find that some dentists bear down so hard on your head that it affects your joints for ages. Good luck on your next visit.

  • I have had a similar problem for the past week or two. At first I thought it was tooth ache, but realised it was tender around the gums jaw area. Also sometimes you get aches and pains in this area when you have a cold.

  • Yes I have had had that too! it is a swollen joint in the jaw; my dentist gave me exercises to strengthen the jaw but haven't done them yet; what ever you do: do carefully and resting it is the best treatment; though sucking steak can be quite a bore! Now my RA is under control this happens less, so good luck with treatment.

  • Hi, over the last six months i have developed a painful jaw. It now crunches whenever i eat and locks so i need to rotate my jaw and crack it. I told the rummy nurse and she says it's another place that can be affected. Best to let your nurse know. Good luck

  • Yes I have such problems my whole diet has had to change, I have had to give up nearly all chewy foods, such as steak, muesli, crusty bread etc. I look after my teeth very well, see the dentist every three months because I want to hang onto them. I use a small headed electric toothbrush as I cannot open mouth too wide, and I absolutely dread having a filling!! Hence extra care with mouth hygiene. I did all the recommended jaw exercises but did not help at all, so I gave in to it and changed my diet, I do still get pain, crunching etc but I have to put up with it. A good dentist is crucial, I do not want to sound so negative but my problem been going on for 20 years now Take care lynda x

  • Hello, unfortunately pain and deformatity in the jaw is quite common with rheumatoid disease. When I first started to get it, I have it on the left side, I thought first that I was taking an ear infection and then later a toothache. I mentioned it to my rheumatologist and he told me it was common with this disease.

    I was with my own dentist just a fortnight ago and he couldn't treat a tooth away at the back as I couldn't open my mouth wide enough. He has recommended that I go to see a dental surgoun as he won't be able to deal with my teeth until it's sorted out!!!

    Also I kept loosing fillings too until it had stopped deforming and was just settled in an awkward position.....so be prepared.....it may not happen to you but it's good to know about just in case. The setting of my teeth, the bite as dentist call it, has changed, it has moved to the right a bit, maybe a few mills but enought to notice.

    Good luck anyhow and I hope you get sorted. XX

  • Hi, I too have jaw and teeth problems. For my jaw I have strengthing exercises and a mouth guard at night to stop the jawing my teeth grinding. I have loose teeth due to Sjogrens and having no saliva but use pastimes and spray. This also causes gum disease. I got referred to the hospital form my dentist and had steroid injection in jaw. This helped tremendously. Hope you get sorted out. X

  • Thanks to everyone for their help -- I shall contact my rhumy nurse for advice tomorrow. Jane

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