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Is slow healing part of RA?

Hi all! I'm so new to RA (got diagnosis 3 weeks ago) that I don't know now what is and what isn't RA related. :-) I had to have a tooth pulled a little over a week ago. The dentist said I would have pain for a couple of days, but then it would be fine and he'd see me in a month to see about getting the bridge put in. Where the tooth was pulled is still throbbing and very painful. Is it normal for things to slow down healing wise when you have RA? The dentist did put me on an antibiotic for the first week. He called an oral surgeon friend of his to ask if he should do anything special since I have RA, and the OS said I had to be on an antibiotic. I'm on hydroxychloroquine as well. Any insights you might have would be most appreciated. Thanks!

7 Replies

The tooth may have had an abscess, that's why it had to come out and you needed antibiotics. So it may take about a week to settle. But I wouldn't leave it too long to go back to the dentist if you are still in pain as there could be another problem after extraction. Give them a ring tomorrow and ask. Good luck.


Hiya carotopgal. My first DMARD was HCQ & although I healed quite well before the need for taking it I did notice a difference in the length of time even a scab from a scratch took before it would naturally come off. I've been off it for some while & for 5 years my DMARD has been MTX & is no different. I used to bruise easily before RD but now only need the slightest touch & I'm bruising within minutes. So basically, yes, certainly I've noticed a difference in healing time & bruising!!

It's necessary to mention as you did which meds you take for RD with any medical intervention, including dental treatment. You don't mention if you also take MTX but if you do or are prescribed it in the future you certainly need to bring it to your dentist's attention because if you need antibiotics again some can interact with it. I'm not sure if any do with HCQ as I can't quite remember from when I was on it but I'm sure as your dentist checked there will be no problem though they can prescribe specific ones they can use in such circumstances as mine has but as I say it is necessary to advise your dentist which meds you're taking.

I do hope you won't be too long before the antibiotics start working, the pain lessens & you heal well soon so you can have the next step in your dental treatment.


I feel your pain sitting here with tooth ache I keep having teeth out and they keep telling me it's not related to RD/RA but I think my weak teeth are related.

I have accelerated healing else where on my body but with tooth pain it takes ages for the pain to go... Sorry I am no help at all but I will ask at the dentist this morning again and let you know the reply hope your pain eases soon.

I find a hot bath and using a flannel on my face helps ease the pain.


In a nutshell yes. You do take longer to


Also, you may have something called a "dry socket". This can cause a great deal of pain and is where the clot is dislodged and so leaves the bone open to the air. I had this a couple of years ago and it was so painful. But went to my dentist and it was soon sorted. I would recommend going back to your dentist and he/she can check whether it's healing properly or if you have a dry socket. Clemmie


So pleased you posted this, had very same thing a few years ago - just couldn't remember its name, all I could come up with was 'dry hole' which I'm sure is something completely different lol (ooh err missus).

Good advice, check with your dentist - reminds me I have an appt next week :(


Thanks everyone! I will give my dentist a call this morning. I guess I haven't called because I didn't want to sound whiney. This crazy tooth has been a pain (literally!) for going on 7 months now. He couldn't figure out why it was hurting so finally did a root canal in March....still hurt. So he re-did the root canal in May using special medicated stuff....still hurt. He was perplexed what was the matter. There wasn't any infection. So that's when he said the only other thing we could do was pull the stupid thing. So I thought, well good, maybe it will quit hurting now....not so much! LOL!

It's so wonderful to have somewhere like this to come and ask questions!! You all are so very nice and give such wonderful encouragement and advice in all of the posts!! Thank you!


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