ZocdocAnswersCan rheumatoid arthritis affect my mouth?

Question

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect my mouth?

I feel a tightness in my mouth in this morning? How can I tell whether I have arthritis or am grinding my teeth.

Answer

Do you already carry a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis? If so then you should discuss your symptoms with your primary care doctor or with the rheumatologist who is managing your arthritis. As you know, rheumatoid arthritis can have many symptoms, only some of them of which are strictly arthritis. For example, one condition that can be associated with rheumatoid arthritis is Sjogren's disease, which often causes dryness and discomfort of the mouth and eyes. It would be unusual for rheumatoid arthritis to cause true arthritis of the joint joint, however. On the other hand, if you have not been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, then there are a number of different possible causes of this discomfort in your mouth. If the symptoms have just been going on for 1 day, you may be able to observe them to see if they continue. If they do, possibilities would include inflammation of the jaw joint (TMJ, or temporo mandibular joint disorder), infections or inflammations of the teeth or gums, or strain of the jaw muscle itself. If the symptoms continue, you would need to seek medical attention; you could start by discussing your symptoms with either your dentist or your primary care doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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