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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Jaw surgery
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Jaw surgery

My daughter is 27 years old.  Diagnosed with RA at the age of 6.  She began joint replacements at the age of 16 and has had 3 total hip replacement with an addition revision; bilateral knee replacements; an ankle arthrodesis; and bilateral forefoot reconstructions. She is a vocalist (and by the way graduated from NYU with her masters degree).  She was experiencing difficulty with breathing while singing and went to see a surgeon specializing in TMJ problems at the top university in Pittsburgh. After xrays, he said her airway decreased tremendously due to the receding of her jaw.  Thus her difficulty in taking deep breaths.   He suggested Jaw replacements but she needed braces first to correct her teeth/bite.  After 1 1/2 years of braces, she returned to the surgeon.  Upon his examination at this time, he is questioning doing the surgery now.  Can braces be that instrumental in correcting the TMJ in someone who has DJD?  Also, in your opinion, how successful are jaw replacements in the first place?
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Avatar dr m tn
I am sorry for your daughters problems. I do believe that the orthodontics can correct the TMJ difficulty in many patients. I can not give you an opinion in reference to the jaw replacement because of my lack of knowledge in the field.
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