Jaw pain and rheumatoid arthritis

Question

Hi there, I have just recently been dx with RA which I am seronegative have never tested positive for. For the past three years I have witnessed first hand how crippling this disease can be, it has left my fingers in a severly crippled state. For the past couple of months I have been in extreme agony in the jaw with extreme swelling. Is this normal of RA to attack the joints in the jaw and what does this mean?

Answer

HI Charity,

The jaw joints can be affected in several types of inflammatory arthritis.  This is not terribly unusual, though probably it is involved more frequently in children with RA than adults.  Presumably, the pain is caused by inflammation in the jaw joints, just like in the other joints that you can see like the finger joints, and should respond to treatment in the same way.  If it doesn’t, then further investigation of the joints for other potential causes of pain should be investigated. 

Joan Bathon, M.D.

About Joan Bathon, M.D.

Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.