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Jaw bone & arthritis

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Unread 05-05-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
Bobbi
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Default Jaw bone & arthritis

Anyone else been dx'd with arthritis in the jaw bone (not only TMJ, but arthritis)?

Mine is causing tremendous pain, and, as luck would have it, it's a weekend and I'm thinking that this isn't something worthy of going to ER for, though I am considering Urgent Care.

I've been applying ice.
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Unread 05-06-2007, 12:41 PM   #2
Bryanna
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Generally, the TMJ is the last joint to end up with arthritis. However, your situation could be exacerbated by other malocclusion problems in your mouth. If your bite is off due to infection, dental fillings, broken teeth, misaligned dentures, grinding or clenching....... then any of these things could be contributing to your arthritic tmj issues.

Some people cannot tolerate ice packs against their skin or joints. So sometimes, moist heat works better than ice packs. Place a soft, wet face cloth in the microwave until it is hot, not scolding. Lay down and place that hot cloth over the tmj area with a dry towel over it. The moist heat allows the blood to circulate through that area without pooling in any one spot.

There are dental treatment options that can be tried depending on what the cause of the arthritic tmj is. If everything in your mouth checks out healthy, then sometimes a splint can be made to help alleviate the pain by allowing the jaw muscles to rest.

Here is a good site with some helpful information about arthritic tmj:
http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec08/ch097/ch097c.html

I hope you find relief soon!
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Unread 05-06-2007, 02:27 PM   #3
moose53
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((((((Bobbi)))))),

If you're in that much pain, you probably should go to the ER.

Are you taking Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel , Aredia or Zemedia -- drugs to fight osteoporosis??

I hope you feel better. BIG HUGS (and love).

Barb
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Unread 05-06-2007, 05:37 PM   #4
Bobbi
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Thank you for the link, Bryanna . I'll visit it in a few mins.

Barb, I do take Activella; my PCP Rx'd to control hemmoraghing (sp?) and, she hopes, to slow the progression of my premature osteoporosis.

In the past couple of years I was dx'd with Ankylosing Spondylitis (my rheumatologist had, previously, lumped under the umbrella term "arthritis" until he saw the results of my HLA-B27 tests); I don't know if that affects the jaw bones, too, or not.

I could've (and maybe should've) give a bit more (backround) info.; I've had the TMJ problems since my early 20s. When I lived in the S.F. Bay Area, I used to see a maxillofacial surgeon/specialist for the TMJ itself; I was "fitted" with a nightguard and soft splints.

For years, I also saw a dentist 4 times each year - along with bi-annual appointments with my maxillofacial surgeon.

I don't have dentures, and don't grind or clench my teeth - that I'm aware of.

A few years ago, I changed dentists (after having spent years commuting to the Bay Area in order to stay with my dentist and surgeon). I changed dentists after one was highly recommended - and everything seemed to check out okay (respective of the dentist).

Well, things took a drastic turn for the worst when I lost a filling, and the dentist decided to clean my teeth (in quadrants) before filling the tooth; the process was stretched out over several weeks.

I know, I know... I should have listened to that "inner voice" that was indicating that it just didn't seem right. I ended up eating most of the tooth - the one that needed a new filling - after a couple of months and while on vacation. (The appointments were rather protracted - due to how the dentist wanted them scheduled.) The tooth, then, needed a crown.

Knowing that I have TMJ, the dentist propped my mouth open for around 3 hours during one appointment - for the crown - and... suddenly stopped and just left me just sitting there. When she returned, she took more x-rays and explained that she needed to call in another dentist. Calcification was the prob., and she couldn't get "through it"; she said she hadn't expected that, and it was far more common in elderly patients. The "more experienced" dentist would not be available for a couple of weeks. When I saw him, my mouth was propped open, once again, for a lengthy duration of several hours... and I had lost feeling in the tip of my nose and left side of my face.

I had asked the dentist about it - after two weeks of nothing changing - and was assured it could take more time for the feeling to return.

Well, as it turned out, my neurologist and neurosurgeon said that the 5th cranial nerve was "blown through" (thank you, needles ), and, for any more dental work, I should be seeing an endodontist and totally out for procedures.

The prob. tooth is the top of my mouth; I think it's number 13 or 14 (my neighbor, who works for a dental surgeon, had told me). It remains with a temp. crown, since I have this deep-seated fear of more nerve damage if something, again, doesn't quite go as it should.

The area that hurts like heck is lower left jaw, near the molars.

I'm so terrified of dentists now, I don't have one. (I spent two years with the neurologist to get some of the feeling back in the left side of my face.)

The ice has been helping, yet... it's probably a stop-gap measure.


Any idea of things I should be looking for/asking when searching for an endodontist? I am a pre-med - prior to dental appointments - patient, thanks to my heart; I see my cardio. doc this Wednesday, and I know he'll Rx the pre-meds. so I can feel more at ease about having my mouth probbed; if I make the appointment without the antibiotics, I'll be sent away, anyway, until pre-med., a need that I hope won't also create additional delay.
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Last edited by Bobbi; 05-06-2007 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Corrected myself :)
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Unread 05-06-2007, 09:51 PM   #5
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((((((Bobbi)))))),

I was more worried about you taking a bisphosphonate (Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel) because of the jaw necrosis risk.

Is the only thing that she's giving you to stave off osteoporosis the Activella??

Ain't it wonderful being female -- you put up with years and years of bloody drawers and sanny-nappies and PMS, only to find out your reward is crappy bones

Whenever I've been in a, shall we say "unique" dental situation because of lacking-in-skill-dental-personnel, I usually find out who the expert is in that particular area and then ask him/her to recommend someone.

One of the things that you might try is getting in touch with the closest dental school. Make an appointment with the Dean. Explain your medical history and ask him to recommend someone. They are usually aware of the newest technologies and they also know who's specializing in what. They also understand the word "competence".

My experience has been that when you have an unusual problem, you can't just pick someone out of the phone book.

I know the fear -- from a different situation in my life -- but, I understand it. Don't let it prevent you from taking care of your teeth and your mouth.

Hope this turns out to be not serious and not painful. BIG HUGS.

Barb
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Unread 05-06-2007, 10:30 PM   #6
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Hey Bobbi - just read your post. My concern: you being told your 5th cranial nerve is "blown" - I had a dental procedure which injured the 5th branch of the trigeminal nerve. When you feel better, you might want to get this checked out. I wish I had pursued mine further, but, like you I didn't want anybody to touch my teeth or face.
Good luck and God bless. Janet
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Unread 05-07-2007, 07:11 AM   #7
Bobbi
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It feels about 98 percent better this morning . Still, I will find out what I can do about seeing an endodontist - soon.


Janet, my neurosurgeon dx'd the Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) and sent me to my neurologist for treatment. It seemed like it had taken forever for the numbness in my nose to go away, and for most of the feeling in my lips to return.


Barb, the Activella is the only med. that was Rx'd for the osteop. My GYN thought it would be best - for now - to also revamp my diet (in terms of increasing calcium) through various foods; she noted the daily amt. and wrote which ones she thought would help and also gave me a quite in-depth chart (I keep on my frig.).

I think University of the Pacific is the nearest school of dentistry. If I can get an appointment, it might still, possibly, be able to offer the names of a few people accepting new patients.
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Unread 05-07-2007, 08:42 AM   #8
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((((((Bobbi)))))),

If you contact the dental school, make sure you go through the Dean or the Director. You don't want just a regular appointment with a student. You might get a first year student The third and fourth year students are pretty good and they're still well-supervised. Going through the Dean or the Director will ensure that they're even "better supervised". It's even possible that the Dean might recommend someone outside the school.

Oh, ((((((Bobbi)))))), I'm so glad you're feeling better

Hugs.

Barb
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Unread 05-08-2007, 12:42 AM   #9
Bobbi
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Thanks! for the pointers, Barb .

I think, if I've not been misreading, the UoP school is actually in San Francisco; if so, that's back to where I started and way too far to go these days (healthwise, most especially).

I'll see what my cardio. doc may have for ideas/referrals on Wednesday.
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