Sunday, October 1, 2023

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Jaw And Teeth

The Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis And Oral Health

Rheumatoid arthritis – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis , your oral health is at risk. Both RA and gum disease are linked to severe inflammation, which is your bodys natural immune response to protect you from foreign bodies like viruses and bacteria. Because RA is an autoimmune disease, inflammation is triggered despite there being no foreign bodies present. Improving your dental care may help to reduce the effects of RA.

What Is The Tmj

The TMJ is the temporomandibular jointyour jaw. This joint is responsible for opening and closing your mouth, a very important task! This everyday bodily function can be disrupted by TMJ disorder, teeth grinding, and even rheumatoid arthritis. Keeping your TMJ well-oiled is crucial to a pain-free life.

Other Causes Of Tmj Pain

  • Jaw Injury acute trauma to your jaw and the muscles surrounding it is one of the leading causes of TMJ pain. The injury could be due to accidents, including slips, falls, and vehicle accidents.
  • Genetics if any of your parents or close relatives have TMJ pain, you are most likely to also suffer from it as you age.
  • Poor Posture maintaining a poor posture can have a lot of adverse effects on your body. Having TMJ pain can be a result of it. The joints on your jaw are very finely balanced, and poor posture can cause them to misalign, lock, or cramp. This increases your risk for pain.
  • Arthritis psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis

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Explaining Arthritis In Jaw Or Tmj

Not everyone knows that their jaw joints or the temporomandibular joints can also be a target of arthritis. The pain that comes with jaw arthritis can vary from mild to severe. Even worse, the symptoms can aggravate over time when left untreated.

Sharp pain can cause difficulties and suffering for those with arthritis in the jaw. Even the simplest tasks, such as opening up the mouth or chewing, can become super difficult for patients.

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Ra And Jaw Pain: Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Jaw Pain

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Jaw and Teeth?

The joints of the jaw are complex. The temporomandibular joint is moved with the assistance of several muscles, bones and soft tissues. These joints see heavy use throughout the day as we eat, yawn, swallow, chat with friends and move our mouths to express emotion. If you are someone who grinds your teeth while you sleep at night, that puts even more stress on already heavily worked joints. Between all of this, it is not surprising that many people, particularly those who have rheumatoid arthritis, also develop joint pain and temporomandibular disorders .

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Oral Health And Inflammatory Diseases

Postdoctoral research fellow Malini Moni, BDS, MS shares information and tips about common oral health problems seen in patients living with rheumatic diseases. Pain from these autoimmune diseases can make it difficult for some people to brush or floss their teeth.

A study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center found that gum disease and tooth loss are more prevalent in people who have rheumatoid arthritis . Another syndrome that is known to hinder oral health is Sjögrens syndrome. This syndrome can be seen in people who have rheumatic diseases.

Can I Get Arthritis On My Jaw Heres The Answer

Do you often experience a dull aching or throbbing pain in your jaw? Its difficult for anyone to escape a disturbing ache, especially if youre going through aging.

If you can relate to this, know that you are not alone. We have seen many patients suffer from TMJ pain so much so that we have noticed many cases link to one sourcearthritis.

In this article, you will learn how arthritis can cause TMJ pain. Also, we will introduce you to our trusted Plymouth-based TMJ chiropractor so you can find out what is in store for you.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Your Teeth

Gum disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients can affect more than just the gums and jaw, it also increases the risk of cavities, dental abscesses, and other complications from tooth decay. Sjögrens syndrome has also been associated with rheumatoid arthritis, which is a condition that causes dry eyes and dry mouth.

Dry mouth significantly increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease because when your mouth is too dry, your body cant sufficiently get rid of the bacteria that attack your teeth. If you have been diagnosed with Sjögrens syndrome, youll need regular preventative dental care to keep your mouth healthy.

Symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Tooth stains

Dental Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Swollen & Bleeding Gums Linked To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Scheduling frequent dentist appointments for professional cleaning and laser therapy can help prevent complications from rheumatoid arthritis. Sunrise Dental in Glendale specializes in diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases. If you have arthritis, we can help! Contact us to make an appointment today.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Your Jaw

Inflammation in your temporomandibular joint can be very painful, and since RA attacks the joints, TMJ disorders are a common complication.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Tenderness in the neck, shoulders, and around the ear
  • Facial swelling on one side
  • Difficulty chewing, or discomfort when biting down

How Arthritis In The Jaw Is Treated

Luckily, you may find relief with non-invasive measures to resolve the jaw pain. Almost always conservative treatment will be tried first, Dr. Bykerk says. This may include:

  • Physical therapy to provide gentle exercises to help loosen your jaw and strengthen the muscles around the joint.
  • A mouth guard fitted by a dentist to help with teeth grinding and clenching overnight. I have been wearing a night guard for years, Karin D. told us on Facebook.
  • Relaxation techniques to manage chronic pain and reduce stress and tension in the joint.

Your doctor may also give some relief with steroid shots, which Karin also says shes had. If the TMJ is inflamed it can be injected with cortisone, Dr. Bykerk says. In addition, your doctor may advise over-the-counter medications. NSAIDs are often prescribed to decrease inflammation and thus help decrease pain, Dr. Levi says.

Making sure inflammatory arthritis is well-managed can improve jaw pain due to the condition. For rheumatoid, psoriatic arthritis, and other forms of systemic arthritis, it is important to control the underlying disease, Dr. Levi says.

In very severe cases, surgery to the jaw may be recommended, but this is a last resort option.

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How Doctors Diagnose Arthritis Jaw Pain

The underlying causes for jaw pain can be hard for doctors to suss out, as the TMJ is a very complex joint with multiple factors affecting it. Your rheumatologist or dentist may recommend a specialist who deals with TMJ disorders, called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. A thorough comprehensive evaluation and history taking is crucial to accurately diagnosing the etiology of jaw pain, Dr. Levi says.

Osteoarthritis is often diagnosed based on symptoms and imaging, and is commonly is associated with joint sounds, known as crepitus, Dr. Levi says. Osteoarthritis is also often associated with morning stiffness, jaw tightness, and decreased range of motion of the jaw.

Jaw bone and cartilage changes due to arthritis may be seen on imaging tests such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Changes that can be visualized on imaging include condylar beaking or flattening , and decreased joint space, Dr. Levi says.

Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may be diagnosed with help from blood tests, Dr. Levi says. With inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, you will have elevated inflammatory markers like c-reactive protein or erythrocyte sedimentation rate many rheumatoid arthritis patients also test positive for antibodies such as rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP.

But if you have inflammatory arthritis, chances are jaw pain wont be your first symptom and if youve already been diagnosed, your doctor will have an indication that jaw pain may be due to your condition.

Bacteria May Be To Blame

Condylar Remodeling in a Rheumatoid Arthritis Case 7 Years Later  Mark ...

Researchers have suspected a connection between rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease for nearly a century, but only recently has the picture become clearer. The current thinking is that certain bacteria in your mouth that are known to cause periodontal disease may also act as a trigger for RA, says Dr. Konig. Essentially, your oral health might play a role in either initiating joint pain symptoms or exacerbating them. Nothing is 100 percent certain, we are still learning, he says, but it is likely that its a two-way street between oral health and arthritis.

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Heart Health Relates To Gum Health And Ra

And now, a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology in November 2020 found that the connection between gum disease and RA has another unfortunate side effect: It increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers from Columbia University found that immune system responses to bacteria that cause periodontal disease, particularly Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, may be a reason why people with RA are at greater risk for heart disease. Speaking about their research, the study authors wrote, patients with RA may represent a population in which the effect of periodontal pathogens on atherogenesis is heightened.

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Regular Dentists Visits Are Key

Dentists are an important resource for RA folks. If the research on oral bacteria proves correct, a healthy mouth could minimize progression of your arthritis symptoms. Everyone with RA should have a dentist that is also able to evaluate their overall oral health and the presence of periodontal disease, Dr. Konig says. And if you have periodontal disease, its worth getting a periodontist to guide you through treatment: deep cleaning, medication, and surgery if necessary.

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Early Signs Of Ra Jaw Pain

Early symptoms are pain in or in front of the ear while chewing, clicking, or locking of the jaw, or a grating grinding sensation in the jaw while opening and closing the mouth, Dr. Harvey says. These symptoms are often worse in the mornings and happen alongside RA flares in other joints. With just a little bit of chewing movement, they will feel tiredness or pain in the muscles around , she says. You may be unable to close your upper and lower teeth together normally.

The Effects Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Signs & Symptoms | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Your oral health can become compromised if you neglect the signs and symptoms of RA. In addition to general health complications, RA can cause you to develop serious oral conditions, such as:

  • Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that causes swollen and tender gums.
  • Periodontitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the bone and tissue supporting the teeth.
  • Sjögrens syndrome, an inflammatory condition that affects the salivary glands causing oral dryness, difficulty eating and tooth decay.
  • Loss of motion in the temporomandibular joint. RA can cause serious pain when opening and closing your mouth.
  • Oral infections, such as bacterial infections and fungal infections.

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What Is Temporomandibular Disorder

Temporomandibular disorders are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Any problem that prevents the complex system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in temporomandibular disorder.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research classifies TMD by the following:

  • Myofascial pain. This is the most common form of TMD. It results in discomfort or pain in the fascia and muscles that control jaw, neck and shoulder function.

  • Internal derangement of the joint. This means a dislocated jaw or displaced disk, , or injury to the condyle .

  • Degenerative joint disease. This includes osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.

You can have one or more of these conditions at the same time.

Sjorgen’s Syndrome Another Culprit

Their rheumatologists have also informed that it could be a combination of medication and RA, although most pointed to the possibility of having Sjorgen’s syndrome, as well, since dry mouth is the hallmark symptom of Sjorgen’s. In my own experience with comorbidities, I have noticed that I have extremely dry eyes and dry mouth, so when I follow up with my rheumatologist next month, I’ll request an ANA panel screening to see if there could be something else happening.

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How To Alleviate The Symptoms Of Tmd And Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can be really unpleasant. It can make you not want to eat, talk or do anything else. These tips can help prevent and halt jaw pain:

  • Switch to soft foods for a few days to rest the jaw.
  • Avoid chewy candies and chewing gum.
  • Avoid opening your mouth too wide when talking, yawning or eating.
  • Massage the muscle around the joint.
  • Avoid clenching your jaw. You may find that you do this when you are upset or under stress.
  • Apply a warm compress to the jaw.
  • Avoid resting your chin on your hand. This activity can put stress on your jaw and subtly push it out of alignment if you are susceptible to TMJ issues.

Exercises can also be helpful to prevent future TMJ pain. These should not be done when you are experiencing TMJ issues. If the area is painful and swollen, hold off until you are feeling better.

For one exercise, start by slowly opening your mouth. Curl your tongue up so that the tip is touching the roof of your mouth. Keeping your tongue in position, slowly close your mouth. Do this two to three times a day.

The other helpful exercise involves sitting in front of a mirror and slowly opening and closing your mouth. Assure that your jaw does not swing to one side or the other while you are opening and closing your mouth. You may need to apply pressure to one side of your jaw with your hand to keep your jaw in alignment. Do this 10 times, two to three times each day.

Arthritis In Your Jaw Is That Possible

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When you think about arthritis, your jaw seldomly comes to your mind. Instead, the most recalled targets of this disease are ones hands or knees. This resemblance is surprising when you think about it because arthritis is an ailment of joints. Therefore, this definition pushes your jaw in the range of this ailment.

After all, your jaw comprises one of the most complicated joints known as the temporomandibular joint. This fascinating joint allows for the sliding as well as the vertical motion of your jaws. Therefore, to keep the jaw in its optimum shape and retain its activity, you should know how arthritis affects your jaws.

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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect your joints and other body systems. It occurs when your immune system attacks your bodys tissues instead of those of outside invaders.

Outside of the joints, rheumatoid arthritis can affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, salivary glands, nerve tissue, bone marrow, and blood vessels. It presents itself mainly in the form of swollen, tender, or stiff joints as well as fatigue, fever, or loss of appetite.

Oral Health Problems And Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are a number of dental complications that can result from rheumatoid arthritis. Common issues include periodontitis, TMJ disorders, tooth decay, and Sjögrens syndrome. These problems arent usually the first that come to mind when you think about symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but it is especially important for people with RA to take good care of their oral health.

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You Might Not Expect Your Arthritis To Impact Your Jaw But Thats Why You May Be Having Stiffness In The Area Heres How To Handle It

The connection between arthritis and jaw pain might not be immediately apparent because we often associate arthritis with pain and stiffness in the hands, elbows, or knees. But if youve been noticing pain on the sides of your face, arthritis could be the reason.

By jaw pain, we mean pain in front of the ear, up as far as the top of the ear, as low as the back part of the jaw and even into the cheek, says Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. It can feel like tooth pain and you might even think that is what it is.

You may also find it hard to open and close your mouth, or that it hurts to eat. It wants to lock, Carrie G. told us on Facebook about her jaw pain. It makes it hard to chew or even get food in.

Another arthritis patient, Anne M., has also experienced jaw pain. Ive had that once upon a flare it lasted a good while too, like two weeks or so, she told us on Facebook. The worst was in the morning I remember I dreaded opening it first thing.

Although jaw pain from arthritis can affect your quality of life not to mention your enjoyment of food there are some things you can do to minimize the impact of jaw pain from arthritis.

Research On Rheumatoid Arthritis

TMJ Explained | Jaw Pain Causes & Symptoms

In the last decade, much research has been conducted to increase our understanding of the immune system and what makes it malfunction. There have also been new therapies developed to help treat the disease. Some of the topics of intense research include:

What are the genetic factors that predispose people to develop rheumatoid arthritis?

Some white blood cells, commonly known as T cells, are important in maintaining a healthy and properly functioning immune system. However, scientists have discovered a variationcalled single nucleotide polymorphism in a gene that controls T cells. When the SNP gene variation is present, T cells attempt to correct abnormalities in joints too quickly, causing the inflammation and tissue damage associated with RA. The discovery of SNP may help determine peoples risk for getting RA and might help explain why autoimmune diseases run in families.

At conception, twins have an identical set of genes. So why would only one twin develop RA?

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