Pain in the neck!

Hi everyone, I was just wondering what everyone's experience was with pain in the jaw, throat and neck? Both sides of my jaw are an area I experience inflammation and pain and have done since before I was diagnosed 3 and a half years ago. Any time I happen to mention it, I am told to visit my dentist to have a mouth guard fitted to prevent me clenching my jaw at night. I haven't done this yet as I wonder how much of a solution that is? Also I frequently feel as though I have swollen glands in my throat and have difficulty swallowing and talking (it has just occurred to me this has been happening from a few months before my joint symptoms started). Am I crazy thinking this is RA related or does anyone else experience tender neck/throat pain? Even to touch the outside hurts! Would appreciate any tips how to deal with managing that type of pain :)


7 Replies

  • I should mention gums, teeth and sinuses too...

  • Dentists can sometimes be useful with jaw problems - I know mine gave me some really good tips for how to "unlock" my jaw when it started seizing up. It was interesting because it was a completely opposite movement to what I would have thought I needed to do. Dentists can also order full jaw xrays to see what is going on as well. I think they do them on some kind of machine that sort of rotates around your face to get a good view of the joint. I wouldn't go in asking for a mouth guard, but go in asking if they can help you deal with your jaw pain, and just see what they offer. make sure you ask them if they can tell you why it might be happening. Don't forget to mention that you have diagnosed RA.

  • I often suffer with my jaw, usually worse on the right. My rheumy shrugged it off saying "yeah its a joint".. my glands in my neck r often up too which they say is my immune system being on alert (so also ra). But on a positive, now my disease is stabilizing on 25mg mtx subcut the jaw pain is less frequent.

    I have seen lots of advice on here about dentists offering great advice tho, specially if its affecting ur gums too so that would b a good move for second professional opinion.

    Take care. Tina

  • My dentist has been very helpful and more caring than some of the medics! He lets me rest my jaw joints at intervals when i have jaw pain - the temporo-mandibular joint (just in front of your ear) can be affected by RA. He was the only one who seemed to care that I had enormous ulcers while taking MTX and encouraged me to push for alternative treatment as he thought the ulceration was not a reasonable side effect to suffer. he records what medication I'm on and checks my glands and the inside of my mouth for tumours and inflammation. He thinks it very important that people with RA avoid any gum inflammation as a trigger for flare-ups.

  • Hi Wendy,

    I just picked up on this and was really interested as I have developed similar problems over the last month. It started with my jaw clicking, mouth feeling out of alignment and pain when I opened my mouth. It has got progressively worse and I find I have to keep my mouth half closed when I yawn and am choosing to eat food where I don't have to open my mouth wide or chew too much. I researched it and discovered it is a syndrome called TMJ and mentioned it to my Rheumy when I saw him last week and he nodded in recognition but as we had so much to discuss this particular problem was not revisited. I am beginning Mtx injections in the next couple of weeks so hope to discuss this with the rheumy nurse. BTW I was diagnosed with RA four years ago and have tried oral Mtx, sulfa and Hydro with no success so far so am hopeful the injections will work (although I hate needles, I'm going to have to get over it!!)

    See this link for more info and good luck.

  • Thanks for your responses, I think I will definitely take a trip to my dentist and see what he says, I only thought I would need to mention RA to him if I needed antibiotics etc. It isn't as severe now that I m on medication - Humira, MTX subcut, arcoxia and plaquenil (before I couldn't even open my jaw and would be in tears if I needed to yawn!). Goodluck with the MTX injections alsmum - the needle may look scary but injecting it is a breeze, I could never put another MTX tablet in my mouth ever again!

  • Yes Wend, see your dentist. Quick xray to jaw where it hurts to rule out no dental issues. My left side of jaw right at the back gets bad pain, clicking and seizures. Have to move it side to side as can lock. It is just where the RA flares in me and always has. Always is worse with PMS too.

    Julie x

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