Psoriatic Arthritis and Varying Levels of Jaw Pain

Do you know that psoriatic arthritis can cause problems with your jaws? The answer is no right? I didn’t either until my friend who has had pain in her jaw and mouth, started having issues that led to a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis. Years now into my own journey with psoriatic arthritis I am still learning new things about the disease.

What joints are in our jaws?

Who would have thought it could affect your mouth, teeth and even your jaws? Why should I be so surprised? We know that psoriatic arthritis affects the joints. There are actually two temporomandibular joints or TMJ’s — one on either side of your head, in front of your ears. The TMJ is responsible for connecting your jawbone to your skull. Its purpose is to allow your jaw to open and close like a hinge. Why has it taken so long to bring attention to this?

Will my psoriatic arthritis impact my jaw?

I am currently in my 8th year of having psoriatic arthritis. It now affects my back, my hips, and my knees. Now it seems I am having issues with my mouth. When I brush my teeth now, they bleed. My teeth have become sensitive to extremely hot or cold things like coffee or ice cream. It is another thing that I have got to start paying attention to and find a dentist who knows about psoriatic arthritis and how it contributes to mouth issues. One area of concern for me is that years ago, long before I even knew PsA, I broke a portion of my lower jawbone. I can still feel the indention. Since this is the case it makes me worry that I could have real issues in the future with my jaw.

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How has it impacted my friend?

My friend is new to the journey of psoriatic arthritis. It is inherited from her family. Her medical issues are numerous. However, lately the issues have been in her neck and her mouth. She has already had one surgery on her neck. Now she is looking at extensive dental work because part of her jaw is deteriorated. She found out that the jaw issues could be contributed to her psoriatic arthritis. The dentist told her that they need to pull some teeth and build up her jaw so that she could wear dentures. The dental work will be extensive and comes with a hefty medical bill which leaves her trying to find ways to get this work done since she is disabled. She is on Medicare and her supplemental insurance will barely cover any of it.

What are the risks involved in waiting?

I always say that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is that gift that keeps on giving. In this case it is the psoriatic arthritis that can cause damage to your jaws and your mouth. If you are like me and experiencing any kind of issue with your mouth or jaws, please have it checked out. Don’t wait. The damage could get extensive and take a lot to correct if you wait to long. Waiting and not knowing about the psoriatic arthritis is what has happened to my friend. Don’t let the issue go unresolved please. See a dentist if you are experiencing any problems. It could help you further down the road to avoid what she is going through.

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