Jaw pain

Hya. I am new to the forum. Only been diagnosed with RA 6 weeks ago. Also got osteoarthritis. Started on Methotrexate last Monday. Initially I had really sore wrists and fingers. But now I have sore feet, knees, along with my wrists and fingers. Then last night the pain started in the left hand side of my jaw. Is this the Methotrexate that is causing this or my RA getting worse?. I am also taking Tramadol and paracetamol. Would be glad of any advice. Xx

16 Replies

  • Hello lifeboatman,

    I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but welcome to the forums.

    It takes Methotrexate about 12 weeks plus to begin to take effect, so I doubt it would be making you worse after less than one week. I'm no expert and not medically trained, but in my opinion it's more likely to be a progression of either your RA or OA.

    I would get in touch with your consultant or rheumy nurse first, to find out if they think it's the RA or the OA that's causing the problems. They might be able to suggest better pain relief than what you are already taking.

    Good Luck and best wishes

    poemsgalore. x

  • Thankyou. Unfortunately that's what I thought. Tried to get a appointment with the Dr's yesterday, But none for 2 weeks, I am going then anyway. But I have appointment with the nurse on Monday to get my bloods done, so hopefully she can get me seen earlier. Phoned my Rheumatologist earlier but waiting on her replying. Xx

  • Welcome to the forum - you are amongst people who really understand all the trials and tribulations that RD visits upon us, and the support and help is first class. While Rheumy teams will focus on our signs and symptoms and coordinate our treatments, there is a sad lack of emotional and psychological support which thanks to this forum fills that massive gap in the service.

    I started with Jaw pain on my left side shortly after I was diagnosed last year. I used voltarol gel (ibuprofen gel is just as good) at night time but be careful to not get it near your eyes. Keep it on your bedside table and if you wake up during the night with pain you can rub some more on the temple and down side of ear and around the ear. I even tried the bio freeze spray (Boots stock it) but spray onto your fingertips and dab on the temple (keep it away from your eyes and wash your hands after using).

    It might also be a good idea to visit the dentist. My jaw had gone out of alignment and I needed to have some teeth paired down to get a good bite closure again. I also got a tooth guard for the teeth in case I was grinding my teeth at night but as this was not the case I didn't use it (not very glamorous in the bedroom department as well as smelling chemically if using bio freeze)!!!!!

    I found some massage techniques on the internet for Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and found these really helped me.

    It's early days yet for MTX to be giving you maximum benefit (usually up to 12 weeks) and you will probably be on a lower dose to start with. It might help to get a depo steroid injection from you Rheumy that will take the edge off symptoms until the MTX gets working, so do preserve in contacting the Rheumy team or nurse.

  • Hya. Wow that sounds painful (even more that before) I had a steroid injection just a few days before I started the Methotrexate. And using voltarol now ( just been and got some)

    Going to get my bloods done on Monday, and trying to get appointment with the Dr's to get cortisone injections in my knees. Everything seems to fall apart at the same time. Find myself laughing (refuse to cry) when the next painful area starts. Just want the Meds to start to work so I can get back to work. This is a awful disease for us all. Especially when it affects us all differently. Xx

  • I am over the jaw pain at the moment, but terrible pain in my shoulders and shoulder blade. As you say, there seems to be new areas that spring up to torment and I am hoping and praying my MTX will start to do something soon to ease it all.

    It can take some time to find the right combo of drugs that will ease your RD, so keep your positive spirit up, but do be compassionate towards yourself when the disease overwhelms you and use the forum to sound off and to receive empathic understanding and good support.

  • Yes its terrible the way it seems to work, the pain in one area eases off a bit, but then new areas start. But staying positive and like you hope that the Meds work. But realising that my life has changed and will have to adjust accordingly. X

  • I also have a painful jaw regular. Told it's part of the RA. I was diagnosed April. I had to come off methotrexate after 4 weeks due to severe side effects and hair loss. Now on sulfasalizine and hydroxychloroquine as well as zapain ibuprofen Gabapentin and tremadol.

    It does wear off and then come back

  • Hya. I am only on week 2 (week 3 tomorrow). Up to now not had any side effects, hopefully that continues. My Jaw is easing off now, just waiting to see what happens next. Sorry to hear that you had bad side effects though, and hope that what your on now does the trick. I am just looking forward to the day that I can go back to work, I work in a pub, and really miss all the locals and holiday makers. Will be devastated if I can't go back.

  • Hopefully you will be ok then as mine started after week 1. Thanks for best wishes

  • Welcome. I too has terrible jaw pain almost from the beginning. At the onset I thought I had tooth ache, an ear infection, a brain tumour.......I thought all sorts of things but it turned out to be RD in my left jaw which I'm sorry to say has now spread to my right jaw. I'm only telling you at so you will be prepared.

    Seems that although I only had pain in my left side the mouth isn't wired up the same as other parts of the body......I have never had pain on the right side, well I had but nothing at all like the left side......anyhow I'm wondering.......just because you have pain on one side doesn't mean that there isn't inflamination elswhere........if 'dtech' is listening in he will explain it much better than I can.......I'm afraid I've made a bit of a mess of it.

    Darlin, what you need to do is to get your RD Consultant or you GP to refer you to a Dental Surgeon for x-rays......that will tell you so much more than I can.

    My pain at the beginning wasn't nice so I know what your going through but over they last 4/5 years it is under control with various drug regimes. I wish you all the very best and please keep in touch. Jean.

  • Hya. Sorry to hear the problems you've had. Touch wood mine stays away, think I was lucky it only lasted a day. But now I will be ready for it if it comes back. Got nurse in the morning so will mention it, then the Dr on the 28th and rheumatologist on the 8th September. I will write it down on my list (which is getting longer) at the moment I can't afford to pay for the dentist, (been off work for 7 weeks now) hopefully they might send me for a xray at the hospital.

    It definitely makes you think about what's happening inside your body though. Scary. Certainly a life changing disease. Yes I'll definitely keep in touch. X

  • Heya, I too had terrible jaw pain at the beginning, as well as sore feet when I was first diagnosed, however a little while later was advised the jaw pain was a red herring and was actually a TMJ disfunction all along! (Perhaps along with having negative blood results, why it took me 6 months to be diagnosed with RA).

    Would perhaps recommend seeing Maxillo Facial specialist rather than dentist, they may prescribe a mouth guard type thing for you to help... I also had an MRI of the area to help diagnose whether it was alignment/muscles at fault, rather than inflammation of the joint.

    Hope that helps xxx

  • Thank you. Yes. Any help and advice is always welcome. Definitely going to mention it to my Dr and rheumatologist. See what they advise.

  • Hiya & welcome to us here. You've received good advice already, not much to add except I hope you do well on MTX, it's been my life saver. Also, if you've already been prescribed an oral NSAID do take care if you're using a topical diclofenac gel as it is also an NSAID. Maybe try a heated wheat bag, though of course check it is not too hot before holding it against your jaw!

    If there's anything RD teaches you it is to be patient. I hope your steroid injection kicks in soon but if it doesn't do contact your Rheumy nurse. MTX too, it can take a while, seems an age to start noticing any difference but it should & when it does you'll feel a different woman!

    Any questions ask away, we're a wealth of information & experience between us. :)

    Oh, as well as writing a list for your next Rheumy appointment it is a good idea to take pics of any changes since your last meet, particularly inflammation though possibly any you have now won't be much different to when you had your initial consultation but still it is a record of change.

  • Thank you so much. Everyone has been so helpful. I started using my wheat bag, my jaw has eased of a lot now, and I'm going for my cortisone injections on Friday now. Trying Actipatch on my knee at the moment. (Sent for a 7day trial one). Only put it on so got to wait 1 or 2 hours to see if it works. Will try anything ease the pain in my knee.

    Have got my notebook at the ready to jot anything down.

    I spoke to the Rheumatologist today. I could have seen her earlier but I told her that I'm getting my cortisone on Friday and my jaw is not as bad that I can't wait until our normal appointment. Unless something else flares up.

    I have more problems trying to get it through to people that I'm going back to work as soon as the Meds start working. Everyone thinks I won't be able to do my job now. Do you have that problem?

  • We're each of us here not only for ourselves but also to help & support one another, I am anyway!

    Glad to hear your jaw pain has eased. These things can come & go but if it starts to be more regular it's always best to report it to your Rheumy nurse so it can be recorded. I tend to have weak spots, mainly my feet & ankles which 'mini flare' as opposed to a full blown flare but then they've been undermedicated for a while. Long story but as neither feet or ankles are included in the DAS 28 score I haven't been on enough treatment so to speak & they've deteriorated.

    Anyway, I hope your knee is relieved by the ActiPatch, I'd be interested to know & others who are sensitive to NSAIDs & stronger pain relievers may also.

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