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could parotid cause jaw pain?
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I recently had positive ANA, as well as high anti-SSA tests. I'm waiting for my first rheumatologist appointment. My disparate symptoms finally seem to be coming together...hypothyroidism, depression, joint pain and fatigue. I've also suffered horrendous jaw pain that I attributed to TMJ. Could a swollen parotid gland cause jaw pain?

I'm a new member and already so grateful for the advice I've found here.

Posted on 05/23/09, 10:11 pm
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Reply #1 - 05/24/09  10:37am
" I have really severe swelling of my parotid glands from my sjogrens, I dont know if this is causing all my jaw pain because i also have a really bad tooth that needs to come out, so if u have any teeth that are going bad that will definately make your jaw hurt and one of the effects of sjogrens is that it makes your teeth decay quicker than normal due to not making enough saliva. Well that is how it was explained to me I was just diagnosed with it last month and I have been suffering with all the same symptoms that u r dealing with for quite some time now. I'm more that happy to be your friend and maybe we can help each other figure some things out about this disease. So right now all we can do is see the rheumatologists and other doctors, keep asking questions and following doctors orders, praying and making friends on here to help each other out. I believe things will get better for us both, so keep your chin up! "
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Reply #2 - 05/25/09  1:21pm
" I have a lot of swelling of my parotid as well. I recently went to my ear, nose and throat doctor because I was having awful ear pain. It turned out my ears were fine but my lymph nodes (parotid) were infected and swollen causing pain in my ear and my jaw. I could not even chew food on that side. I also have TMJ and I thought that was the problem before going in to see the doctor. He put me on antibiotics last week and I am starting to feel better. The doctor did tell me it was all related to the sjogrens. I hope this helps.

Kim "
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Reply #3 - 05/25/09  1:23pm
" I forgot to mention that the doctor told me to buy sugar free candy that is sour like lemon drops and suck on those to help produce more saliva in my mouth when it is really dry from the sjogrens and it is helping.

Kim "
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Reply #4 - 05/27/09  12:29pm
" MM, I too have suffered from TMJ for decades. When my Parotid glands first started swelling, I also thought it had to be my TMJ...until I was doing further research on SS & discovered that the "parotid glands" were around the TMJ area. As with TMJ, it makes the entire right side of my head ache...including severe ear pain...also makes it hard to eat. When my rheumy saw/felt my swollen parotid glands at my last visit...she ordered a lip biopsy from my ENT...which I have next Monday.
~tj "
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Reply #5 - 10/02/09  6:22pm
" I get severe pain in my glands along the jawline and also under the ear which when it swells it also cause severe ear pain. When the saliva glands swell it can wake you at night with severe pain... "
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Reply #6 - 08/10/11  7:34pm
" So for about the last year the dentists have been telling me all my pain comes from TMJD. They made me a split and it never made things clear up. Then I just got back my SSA and SSB positive this month. Here's a theory - the partoid swells and causes the jaw to go out of alignment to varying degrees based on the swelling of the moment. The Dentist splint can not fix the TMJD because the target is always changing!

And a further theory: When the partoid swells and the jaw goes out of alignment this trigger stretching of many important nerves in the jaw. And these pain signals in turn sent out to other parts of the body and locally as neuropathy.

Something I am trying today as an experiment is a dynamic liquid filled dental splint - the "Aqualizer". It adjusts to the present forces so smooth out the byte. Perhaps it could prevent some of the pain I experience far from the partoid/jaw area (back, neck, fingers, toes, thighs, shoulder..all over).

I'll let you know what I find. I experiment all the time. It could be that those distant pains are just brough about through another mechanism. Or in myself they could be brought on by scleroderma (sine) which I also was "blessed" to get a high score on (the Scl 70). "
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Reply #7 - 08/13/11  10:30am
" I used to get swelling and significant salivary gland pain. The glands under my tongue were rock-hard and virtually useless, and I eventually lost almost all of the function from my left parotid. Even now I can barely coax a few drops of saliva from it regardless of what I do.

The initial relief came from Plaquenil that calmed the overt inflammation which was causing the damage. Then in 2000 I started on Evoxac when it was introduced. What a huge improvement I've had. The hardness is gone. The pain is gone. I still can't count on my left parotid to help me since it was so severely damaged prior to treatment, but my right parotid not only looks normal now, it's acting fairly normal again.

Another advantage of Evoxac is that the quality of your saliva can also improve, which means more of the minor saliva glands are doing their job. You can kick up that production by using an electronic or electric toothbrush to brush the insides of your lips, cheeks and even your palate (if you can stand it) to increase the amount of protein/enzyme-rich saliva from those minor saliva glands. One study at the NIH Sjogren's Clinic showed improved function for up to 90 minutes following this procedure. Every little bit helps.

To avoid rampant decay with a dry mouth, there are newer tools like MI Paste which can be used every 4 hours to buffer mouth acids and to provide adequate minerals to rebuild damaged tooth surfaces. It's my favorite product for folks who have no pooled saliva under their tongue and can go a long way in improving oral health since the excess minerals bind with acids to reduce the decay risk. It comes in really mild flavors so they aren't burning and stinging when you use the stuff. The regular MI Paste can literally be used as often as you want, but the MI Paste Plus with fluoride does have restrictions on the frequency. I limit it to twice a day in lieu of more conventional fluoride therapy.

I don't have any financial interest in MI Paste, but since I'm a dental hygienist, I know how well the stuff works to turn around pre-cavities back into healthy tooth structure. Also enjoy the relief it has given me to reduce acids and improve overall mouth comfort. "
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Reply #8 - 08/13/11  12:33pm
" Thank you RDH. Did you also have pain outside of the face and jaw?

For me the glands are still producing saliva. But I can feel the immune system attacking the saliva glands (ow!). Hoping those medications can help stop that and without bad side effects.

Have my first Rheum visit this Wednesday. "

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