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Have bleeding gums, back pain and scalp pain with dry flaky scalp. Worried about temporal arteritis

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Scalp pain with dry flaky scalp accompanied by back and shoulder pain, I also have bleeding gums and jaw pain (clicky jaw) and migraines. The last three are something that I have had for years. Worried about temporal arteritis after reading about it. Female 37 currently pregnant.
Posted Fri, 23 Nov 2012 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Geoffrey Ward 3 hours later
Hello and thank you for your question.
The first issue would be scalp pain with dry flaky scalp. I would recommend getting evaluated by a dermatologist to see if you have folliculitis or a bacterial infection at the base of the hair follicles that can cause pain. I would recommend using a medicated shampoo for dandruff to address the dry flaky issue.

For the bleeding gums I encourage you to brush your teeth three times a day with your bristles angled at a 45 degree angle towards the gum line gently massaging the gums and teeth.
-floss 1-2 times a day having the floss hug against your tooth and rub up and down 4-6 times each side of the tooth
-use listerine mouth rinse once a day at night time.
-Go to your dentist for a dental evaluation and for a cleaning appointment to get rid of the plaque and calculus causing your teeth to bleed.

If you floss on a regular basis (1-2 times a day) your gums will heal and stop bleeding in two weeks time. It is very important to keep you teeth clean while pregnant because due to the hormone changes you can get what is called a pyogenic granuloma or a large inflamed gingival papilla (the tissue between your teeth).

Jaw pain can be controlled by remembering to keep your teeth apart when you are not chewing, breath from the diaphragm and try to drop your shoulders and relax your muscles. If you have pain in your jaw that is going to give you pain in your temporal region along with your shoulders and back! The migraines may actually be pressure head aches from your muscles swelling. Since you are pregnant I will not recommend taking antiinflammatories as these may affect your baby's heart formation esp in the third trimester. I would recommend going to the store and picking up a bite splint used for night wear for people who grind their teeth. This can also help with the pain you have in your jaws.

Once you deliver your baby get seen by your dentist for TMJ evaluation to be put on antiinflammatories, a muscle relaxer and/or a tricyclic anti-depressant that can help alleviate the pain.

Temporal arteritis can mimic a number of symptoms that you complain but it needs a palpation of the artery and ESR test to confirm the diagnosis. So I think you should not fear about this without proper evaluation and test.

If you have any other questions or need more information please respond and I will get back to you asap.

Best wishes

Dr. Ward
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