The dreaded dentist.

Starburst
Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
edited 6. Apr 2015, 16:32 in Living with Arthritis archive
I am overdue a routine check up and I have toothache. :( I also have rather extensive bone damage in my jaw and the discs have moved and eroded, so opening my mouth is not an easy task. Over recent months, my jaw pain and function has got worse and I'm meant to be going back to the maxillo facial doctor for a review. The dental surgery are aware of my RA and they try to be kind but it's really rather traumatic for me. My jaw can be gently prised open but the pain, oh my! I'm putting off making an appointment but my tooth (which typically, is right at the back of my mouth) is nagging me to go.

Any wise words or advice would be much appreciated please. Thank you.

Comments

  • Chris01
    Chris01 Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Extensive bone damage in jaw? sorry, i dont know your histroy, but have you ever discussed possibility of arthritis of TMJ or temparomadibular joint? Just like any other joint, your jaw can also get OA, RA or other inflammatory conditions. Clicking sound or grating sensation on opening the mouth or chewing, dull aching pain in front of the ear, headache, locking of the joint, making it difficult to open, tenderness of the jaw muscles are few symptoms of TMJ dysfunction.

    I have seen another patient in a waiting room at my dentist with this kind of problem. He was offered a night guard to reduce grinding and excessive clenching. Please try to get the appointment at earliest to take a corrective action.

    It must be hard on you to carry out basic chores like brushing and eating. I prefer electric brush anyway; that helps my arthritic wrist as well as aching tooth, whenever I have both. I wish you recover soon.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My jaw opens to a maximum of 2 and 1/2 cms from the top of my bottom teeth to the bottom of my top ones. I know because I've just measured it. I have virtually no pain in it until I attempt to keep it open for the dentist :roll: She's wonderful and quite how she copes I've no idea but she always tells me how well I'm doing and I always point out it is she who's doing the hard job.

    She recently filled a tiny hole at the furthest point of a back tooth. It took three attempts mainly because it was so tiny the amalgam had nothing to hang on to. But she did it. She's aware of my problems and gives me frequent 'jaw closing' sessions. I only have to raise a hand and she will stop what she's doing. I hardly ever do but it's nice to know I can.

    Her predecessor, who retired, had a different method when he had to take one out. I congratulated him on his speed and ease. I said I didn't know how he could see what he was doing at all. He replied, a little disconcertingly, that he couldn't. He just ensured he had it firmly clamped then pulled :lol:
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I wonder whether your dentist would refer you to Max Fax at the local hospital for treatment? I had to have a tooth removed last week (result of a teenage accident some 40 years ago!) and was referred to them, I suspect they have way more experience of the complicated cases and have treatment options to suit.
    I have had arthritis in the jaw since I was 20 so dental treatment is always an ordeal, but like Sticky, have always explained my difficulty and been give the option of rest breaks to relax it.
    I have to admit that my jaw has been aching and sore since the extraction, but it is slowly getting better and the dental surgeon was careful and kind.

    I hope you find the courage to go and get the treatment you need, and that it's as painless as possible. Good luck with it.

    Deb x
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I do sympathise with you - I can`t open my jaw properly either. I changed dentists last year, and my new dentist is lovely. If I raise my hand she stops instantly to give me a break, but she has really small hands, and says she can manage things fine for me at present.

    I have impacted wisdom teeth, which no-one will extract - the Dental Hospital, the max fax people - because of how they`re lying on the nerves, so I`m stuck, really. One has erupted occasionally, so I`m given antibiotics until it settles.
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have nothing useful to add other than to say that a trip to the dentist is well within the capabilities of our amazing Sophie. I hope your dentist finds a way to help and things settle with your jaw (((())))
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Chris01 wrote:
    Extensive bone damage in jaw? sorry, i dont know your histroy, but have you ever discussed possibility of arthritis of TMJ or temparomadibular joint?

    Yes, I've had an MRI scan and seen a maxillo facial surgeon. The damage is from RA.
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for the replies. I still haven't made a dentist appointment :roll: but I will. I think I'm just going to have to grin and bear it, no pun intended.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I too dread the dentist, my jaw opens OK but it does begin to hurt after a while: what I find more difficult is the very hard chair and the horrid angle they tip you. I have enough pain in my life and don't relish more but, Sophie, I fear you need to address this to stop it getting out-of-hand. :(
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So, I learnt my lesson the hard way. :roll:

    I've been having headaches and an exacerbation of right sided jaw pain since Friday. I have been sniffly, so I assumed it was blocked sinuses. However, by yesterday, the pain spread to around one eye socket, my nose and the right side of my face. By 10 pm last night, I was writhing in agony. My mum sat with me through the night, stroking my head while I moaned and cried. I was dosed up on codeine and tramadol but it was barely taking the edge off the pain. I don't think I slept for more than 20 minutes at a time. My eye was so swollen by 6 am that I couldn't hold the eyelid open. The diagnosis is a tooth infection; it has spread to the gum and roots, hence the widespread pain. :(

    I have broken bones, torn ligaments and lived for nearly 6 years with RA pain but this is like nothing I had ever experienced. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I describe my experience last night. Fortunately, I'm in much better spirits this afternoon but crikey....!
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sooner or later pain will get you to the dentist!
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hope you feel better soon. (((((((( ))))))))), gentle hugs and sympathy coming your way.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You poor thing, I hope things settle down soon xxx
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you. I finished the course of antibiotics today but I still have pain. I also feel grotty from the antibiotics. :( I phoned NHS 111 who said it sounds like I'll need root canal treatment. I googled to see what that entails and then cried.

    I'm going to phone tomorrow to hurry up my maxillo facial clinic appt and maybe they can do the dental work while they do the jaw procedure that they suggested last time. My mum said that it would be a dental surgeon not a max facs to do a root canal but I don't care who does it, as long as I am unconscious!
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think Max Fax docs have to do dentistry degrees as well as medical degrees. I had a tricky tooth extraction in max fax at our local hospital a few weeks ago.......much better than at the dentists because they understood the jaw arthritis problem too.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Deb x

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