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  • Psoriatic Arthritis & TMJ

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    Old 12-03-2003, 02:56 PM   #1
    redruth's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Psoriatic Arthritis & TMJ

    Hey there Board,
    I am searching for either answers or positive feedback on the recovery of TMJ.
    A year ago, my physician prescribed plaquenil for psoriatic arthritis (I was diagnosed with psoriasis when I was six). Of course, I wanted to know about side effects. He referred me to an opthamalogist who I am required to visit every six months to maintain my vision. Evidentally, plaquenil, overall a gentle drug, can cause vision issues including blindness.
    Well, I freaked and stopped taking it and stopped visiting the opthamalogist altogether.
    Two months ago, I began experiencing the telltale signs of TMJ, popping and clicking. The dentist suggested I take my arthritis medicine. I thought that was ridiculous, who ever thought a person could get arthritis in their jaw? But of course, they have the degree, not me. For two weeks I lived in pain and discomfort. Finally, I went back to the dentist and he provided me with a splint. That didn't work at all. It made the problem worse. I wasn't able to bite down. He referred me to a specialist. The specialist, who diagnosed my condition as TMJ caused by psoriatic arthritis, has sent me to physical therapy. Physical therapy is fine, but it isn't helping my jaw at all. Mainly because the physical therapist will not work on my jaw directly, only my upper back since my insurance will not cover TMJ physical therapy! Red tape. In the two months, my condition has deteriorated to the point where I can only open my mouth about 3/4 of an inch.
    I am taking my plaquenil now, have been for a month. I go to PT twice a week as well. But I am starting to panic because I am not feeling ANY relief. Is this normal? And also, will my jaw ever work the way it use to or will I have to live with this pain for the rest of my life? And what foods are best to eat with this condition? At this point, I pretty much can't chew anything.
    I appreciate any feedback you have. Thank you.

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    Old 12-03-2003, 05:27 PM   #2
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    Re: Psoriatic Arthritis & TMJ

    It sounds like your PT does not want the liability of touching your TMJ problem. I would get another one. Surely you can find a PT who will really help you under the umbrella of insurance, by working on both areas.

    Old 12-04-2003, 01:50 AM   #3
    Cymy Sue
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    Re: Psoriatic Arthritis & TMJ

    Hi Redruth,

    The TM joint is suseptible to all types of arthritis just like all other joints. Many of us who have TM joint problems have been told they're arthritic, to some degree. Some members who have had surgery have arthritic problems pretty bad due to the invasion into the joint and the changes that have occured. I was told 25 years ago, mine were a little arthritic. I've had several surgeries to try and correct the joint problems, got into an incredibly bad "mess" and constant pain with these failed surgeries, so if it had worsened over the years, I probably could not have distinquished "what" was causing "what" to hurt. I do have a little achiness with real cold weather. I assume, the joints are still a little arthritic.
    Normally, the type of arthritis we develope is osteo.

    I don't have any experience with other types, but have been told that people with rheumatoid usually experience some really bad TM joint problems.

    My last surgery was a discectomy. Both disc were removed with no replacement material and it was a tough go for several years. I mention this because I am currently using a splint based on a design used for people with arthritic TM joints. (Severe rheumatoid & osteo). The splint is very thin, designed to support the joints and let the muscles relax. It has worked extremely well and the first treatment that has ever really helped. I had all of the classic symtoms, plus others generated by "too" many surgeries. I had a very limited opening for many years and only with intra-oral theraputic massage for several years prior to the splint was able to maintain 15-19 mm. Within about 2 months of receiving the splint, many of my symtoms were gone or abating and my opening had increased to 32mm. This may be the most I can hope for, but this is wonderful compared to what I had been living with. We do have some members who are living with much less, such as 10-15mm.

    Finding a Dentist who is familiar and knowledgeable with working with different types of arthritic TM joints could possibly be helpful. They are not all aware of this type of splint design for severely damaged joints or joint problems due to surgeries or disease such as arthritis.

    I don't recall any discussion on this forum (TMJ) regarding Psoriatic Arthritis or the medication Plaguenil.

    You may have already checked, but just in case you didn't, you can use the "Search" feature at the top right of the page and find some discussion on these subjects.
    I searched just the word "Psoriatic" in the Arthritis Forum. I used "Search by keyword, entire post". There were about 49 threads discussing Psoriatic Arthritis.
    All thread "Topics" do not contain the word Psoriatic, but it is within the discussions.
    I also seached "Plaquenil" in "All open Forums" and there are almost 200 discussions on this medication, for many disorders and diseases, including all types of arthritis.

    I'm sure you've researched this problem and medication, but you may find some information in these discussions that would be helpful.
    You could also start a "Topic" in regard to TM joints in the Arthritis Forum and see if anyone has any experience with the problems you're having. You might possibly get some response on this problem from either or both Forums.

    I had all but given up on ever finding help or being better when I found this group about a year ago. I found the opinons, experience, suggestions and input from members here to be incredible and put me on the right track for help.

    The information and advice I had gotten from most Professionals, paled in comparison to the experience posted by the people here who have actually suffered with these problems and disorders.

    As far as insurance issues, there are Physical Therapist who can help with the TM joint problems. I would think that your diagnosis of "Psoriatic Arthritis" should be listed or coded as the reason for the therapy and not be denied because it has affected your TM joints. Sometimes, you can challege them on this matter and get the help you need.
    It sounds like to me, you have a somewhat unusal type of arthritis and it has affected your TM joints. Any treatment that could possibly help you should not be restricted or denied by insurance.

    I do hope you find some help here or possibly on the Arthritis Forum.
    I wish you the best in your search,
    Cymy Sue

    Last edited by Cymy Sue; 12-04-2003 at 02:47 AM.

    Old 12-04-2003, 07:17 AM   #4
    redruth's Avatar
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    Re: Psoriatic Arthritis & TMJ

    Thank you Pedro and Cymy Sue on you invaluable advice. Sometimes it hurts more when you think your alone. But after reading your responses, I feel quite positive again. So I thank you.

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