17:37 PM

Is Your Jaw Pain Because of Arthritis? Signs Your Arthritis Is Affecting Your Jaw, and What to Do About It

CreakyJoints.org reports while jaw pain from arthritis may impact your quality of life, there are ways to minimize the discomfort. The temporal mandibular joint (TMJ), where the lower jaw hinges at the level of the ear, is responsible for talking and eating. It is most frequently used joint in the body, making the jaw susceptible to different types of arthritis.

CreakyJoints.org spoke to Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC, rheumatologist at HSS, who explained stress and chronic pain in the body may occur with arthritis elsewhere, and can cause jaw clenching. “People will clench if they have pain, if they are stressed, or pain can result if they clench too much or grind their teeth, called bruxism,” said Dr. Bykerk. “If bruxism and clenching go on too long the TMJ can wear out, the cartilage in the joint can break down and degenerative arthritis occurs.”

Dr. Bykerk also discussed how arthritis in the jaw is treated. “Almost always conservative treatment will be tried first,” said Dr. Bykerk, which includes physical therapy, a mouth guard fitted by a dentist to help with teeth grinding, and relaxation techniques to reduce tension in the joint. However, if the TMJ is inflamed, it can be injected with cortisone, added Dr. Bykerk.

Read the full article at CreakyJoints.org.