What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

RA is an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation and also affects organs such as the heart, lungs and eyes. The inflammation can affect any joint in your body, but it most commonly affects the hands, wrists and feet.

The first symptoms of RA include pain, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints.

People with RA may also experience other symptoms such as fatigue, fever, or weight loss due to poor appetite!

What Are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The symptoms associated with RA can differ from person to person, and may include a range of possible manifestations.

  • Pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. This is usually worse in the morning or after you have been inactive for a long time. You might also notice your joints feeling looser after you have been active than before you started moving around.
  • In addition to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint deformities and loss of mobility. Over time, this condition can lead to severe joint damage and disability. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Cause Jaw Pain or Tenderness?

Yes, jaw pain is a common symptom of RA. People with RA can experience mild to severe pain and stiffness at their temporomandibular joint or TMJ. You can feel the pain on both sides of the jaw, making it difficult to open your mouth all the way or chew hard foods.

Sometimes, your jaw may also lock in one position and click while moving. There may be changes in teeth alignment, too.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Jaw Pain Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

When it comes to diagnosing jaw pain associated with RA, your doctor may use several different tests. These include:

  • A physical exam – Your doctor will check for tenderness and swelling in the joints around your jaw and other parts of your body. They may also look for signs of inflammation, like redness or warmth around the affected area.
  • X-rays – In order to see structures inside the body without cutting open an organ or tissue sample, X-rays are necessary.
  • CT scan – This type of scan uses computerized tomography (CT) technology instead of x-rays alone to be able to see the TMJ in 3D.

Coping With Jaw Pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis RA

Dealing with jaw pain issues takes time. It may be tempting to find a quick fix, but it is important to remember that RA is a complex disease, and jaw pain is not always a symptom. The same goes for treating your TMJ disorder: many factors are at play, so finding the right TMJ treatment can take some time.