Asked by yoli
i've notice lately when i eat; my jaw hurst like crazy; does this mean that the ra has effected my jaw...sometimes the pain is unbearable
Yes, RA can affect the jaw joints and the impact is especially noticeable when eating or at the dentist. And there's nothing like it - with other joints, you can sometimes sort of mentally isolate the pain to that area of the body and be able to more or less get on with your day. Pain in the jaw, on the other hand, seems to affect everything and in my experience, has a more drastic impact on your mood. Try eating softer foods - e.g., using ground meat (hamburger instead of steak), steamed vegetables instead of raw, cut your food in smaller pieces that are easier to chew, don't eat "tall" food where you have to open your jaw very wide to take a bite. Soups, stews and stir fries with rice are easier on the jaw, as well. Sometimes, a bite plane also helps - it's a protective guard for your teeth made by your dentist and is worn at night to protect your jaw in case you clench or grind your teeth when you sleep. If your RA is on the move into additional joints like the jaw, you may also want to talk to your rheumatologist regarding options for controlling the progression.