I have had what felt like a toothache off and on for some months. I know damned well there is nothing wrong with those teeth. I thought the pain was from grinding my teeth, but I know it was not the case this time. I dawned on me, it might be psoriatic arthritis because it hurt in the cartilage in my jaw. I did a quick search on jaw pain and psoriatic arthritis and YES, that is probably it. It hurts sometimes for no good reason, and it will usually stop after I massage that jaw for a few minutes. If it was a toothache, that tooth would hurt. I have had enough crowns, etc (one in process now) to know when I have a toothache and when I don't. I read about some people having root canals, caps, and everything trying to get rid of the pain. I hope that it doesn't go any farther than what it has, but it is good for me to know what it really is. Now I can deal with it. Maybe this belongs in the symptom area?

At my last two dental check-ups I've struggled to be able to keep my mouth wide open for the hygienist and the dentist ..... and then it dawned on me too!

YUP! I get jaw pain too when I flare, usually right at the joint then it spreads along the upper jawline (sometimes even my cheek bone will hurt, though I'm sure it's just tendons or whathaveyou). Though I also have a touch of TMJ (I call it my clicky-jaw because when I open my mouth wide enough it pops, and sometimes it'll lock up/get stuck and I have to move my lower jaw laterally to get the joint to rest comfortably again). So, from my experience it's definitely a possibility.

Also - Jules - let your dentist know you're having trouble with the jaw joint and that you might want "rest breaks" while they're working on your jaw. They should be more than willing. I had some major work done a couple years ago that left my jaw so painful I could hardly open it for over a month (actually three months, because I had several appointments and each left it sore for about a month, and each was about a month apart) - all from having my jaw locked open for so long at the dentist. (I hadn't been for 8 years due to no insurance, then when I finally went in needed a deep cleaning, a crown, and several fillings - all this meant a lot of time spent with my mouth stretched open in the dentist chair). You might also take an anti-inflammatory prior to your dentist appointment to help with things (I plan to do this before I get a filling done next week).