Lainie Smith's Story
Lainie Smith has always made an effort to see her dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups. One morning she unexpectedly experienced unsettling pain in her jaw. The pain in her face and inability to open her mouth led Lainie to believe she had TMJ, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders. Her immediate thought was to contact her dentist, who knew her medical history. “It was so painful. I couldn’t sleep, eat or talk. All I could do was cry,” Lainie said. By the time she arrived at her dentist’s office the pain became excruciating and she didn’t know how much longer she could bear it. After the exam and X-ray review, her dentist determined it was not TMJ. Suspecting an autoimmune disease, he referred her to a specialist where she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Because she saw her dentist right away and was treated early by a rheumatologist, she was able to slow down the progression of the disease and continue her passion for glass blowing and drawing. Lainie’s commitment to her six-month routine dental exam had a major positive impact on her overall health. Without her dentist, Lainie would not have known about her rheumatoid arthritis, the disease would have progressed and she wouldn’t be in the good health condition she is in today. “Because I saw my dentist, my rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed and treated early, and now I’m able to create beautiful art pieces again.”