Experiencing jaw pain of any kind is usually not normal. If you wake up and your jaw feels sore, it’s likely a problem with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). There are several different reasons why you might experience jaw pain. Jaw pain can derive from grinding your teeth, a misaligned bite, stress, or psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Most patients don’t know much about PsA so we have all the information you need to educate yourself below.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
PsA is an autoimmune condition that can affect joints throughout the body but commonly causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling in the temporomandibular joint. The inflammation attacks healthy tissue and joints which can lead to painful symptoms.
Jaw Pain and PsA
PsA can affect the jaw joint, or TMJ, just like other joints in the body. In fact, nearly 35% of people who have PsA experience jaw pain. Studies have shown that PsA and TMJ disorders are linked and those with PsA can also experience other TMJ symptoms such as:
- Bruxism or teeth grinding/clenching
- Misaligned jaw
- Pain when moving the jaw
- Popping or clicking noises when opening and close the jaw
Patients with PsA may also find it difficult to chew, speak, drink or sleep. To relieve symptoms, patients must treat their PsA to address both the inflammation and issues with the immune system. Patients who have TMJ but not PsA only need to address inflammation in their jaw.
Treating Psoriatic Arthritis
To treat PsA, it’s crucial to work with both your physician as well as your dentist. Your physician will provide you with a prescription to change how your immune system works. The prescription will consist of biologics, oral small molecule drugs, or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Your doctor will recommend the best prescription for you.
To help control inflammation and relieve pain symptoms in the jaw, you can practice natural remedies like eating only soft foods, using your jaw less, applying ice and heat, and reducing stress in your life. You can also visit Dr. Hahn for a proper diagnosis and to receive treatment like an oral splint to train your jaw to rest in a comfortable position.
With a combination of treatments your jaw pain will begin to subside over time.
Psoriatic Arthritis and Dental Problems
Those who suffer from PsA also experience a number of dental problems. Although it affects your jaw joint, it’s also linked to gum disease, bad breath, bite changes, and more TMJ problems. Visiting Dr. Hahn can help you address all of the side effects your PsA has given your oral health.
If you would like to find relief from jaw pain and improve your oral health, please contact Smile Columbia Dentistry to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hahn. Dr. Hahn at Smile Columbia can help you determine what the cause of your TMJ pain is and provide you with adequate treatment. Please call (803) 781-9090 to schedule an appointment today.