Infection (?) related to jaw arthritis

Every 2-3 months, I get a few days of very severe RA symptoms and then wake up with a sore throat, unrelenting headache, swollen glands on left side of neck, ear pain on left, swollen left eye and swollen roof of mouth. Needless to say, these symptoms make me feel horrendous. :(

I have seen every dentist in my local area (!) who prescribe antibiotics as they say it's an infection (I'm not entirely sure I agree) but they can never find where. The overall opinion is that it's related to my jaw as my left side is the worst affected side. Maxillofacial consultant is the top man in London, so I trust his opinion and he said it's not connected. He said that the left is only marginally worse than the right. He admitted that he doesn't know the cause and the only treatment option is to proceed with total jaw replacement surgery.

I'm posting on here on the off chance that anyone has been through similar and found a cure/cause. I know my immune system has taken a battering since adding anti TNFs to the mix but this is ridiculous. Rheum is trying to get the right balance between controlling my aggressive RA and catching every bug going but this is proving challenging.

4 Replies

  • Interesting post, crash doll... I have had arthritis in my jaw for years... And now I have a mouth guard for nighttimes, it doesn't cause me many functional problems except i can't eat big apples! But I also get reoccurring tonsil and sinus problems, and it has never occurred to me to connect them...

    I used to get bad tonsillitis 3x a year or more. When I got quinsy too, I had day surgery to drill a little hole at the back of my nose to 'ventilate' the sinus somehow. It did work for that, and i have only had tonsillitis twice in about a decade since. I have developed chronic rhinitis instead, but that bothers me less and makes me feel less ill... Hope you find a solution that works for you...

  • I did wonder if my infection-like symptoms; the swelling and enlarged glands were due to sinus infections. I will ask max facs next time I see him.

    Tonsillitis is horrible in adults, I really feel for you. :( They used to whip 'em out for everyone when I was a kiddo but apparently, you still get infections, just further down the throat.

  • doll, that sounds just awful. I have all the symptoms you spoke of but they are all related to my jaw problems, on both sides. I never have periods where I'm in the sort of pain you are talking about. I have a steady pain most all the time. My prognosis is for a jaw replacement too but not for a while yet. I do hope you get it sorted but it sounds to me you have covered everything. The next time it happens take a urine sample to your GP and get it tested, they will be able to tell you if it is an infection. All the very best. Jean.

  • I know we've talked jaws before. It's a horrible pain, just so difficult to ignore, isn't it? I do have a constant pain but these flares are quite bizarre and do seem infection-like but who knows? Many mysteries!

    I think it's going to be a tramadol night tonight!

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