Could Rheumatoid Arthritis cause my teeth to ache?

Ask the Doctor: Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis


Stephen A. Paget, MD, FACP, FACR

Stephen A. Paget, MD, FACP, FACR

Physician-in-Chief Emeritus, Hospital for Special Surgery

I am a 57 year old male with Rheumatoid Arthritis since 1986. Presently I am on Enbrel. I've had my two wrists fused plus my right knee replaced. All my teeth are paining and my jaw joints are very bad as well. I have been to the dentist and he says my teeth look fine. My jaws joints are very bad as well. Would the arthritis cause my teeth to ache?

Answer:

No, given your normal teeth, this pain is likely due to arthritis in the joints of the jaw. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are just in front of the ear and they are the same type of joints as in the wrists. Often, a maxillofacial dentist deals more with the TMJ and can help you. Local steroid injections can be a great help in controlling such inflammation. Also, realignment of the teeth with night inserts can decrease the stress on the jaw joints.

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