Temporomandibular joint findings in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and primary Sjögren's syndrome

J Investig Clin Dent. 2017 Nov;8(4). doi: 10.1111/jicd.12255. Epub 2016 Dec 17.


Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients.

Methods: The present study consisted of 79 individuals with various rheumatic disease (study group: 39 with RA, 17 with AS, 23 with pSS) and 79 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (control group). Subjective symptoms of the TMJ were recorded by means of a questionnaire. And stomatognathic examination was then performed.

Results: The prevalence of subjective symptoms in patients with rheumatic disease (73.4%) were significantly higher than that of the controls (22.8%; P<.05). The most common objective symptoms were pain during lateral TMJ palpation (29.1% of patients overall, 8.9% of controls) and mandibular movements (19% of patients overall, 2.5% of controls), and muscle pain during palpation (38% of patients overall, 3.8% of controls). They were significantly higher in all of the rheumatic patients than the controls (P<.05). There was not a statistically-significant difference in the values for mandibular movements between the study and control groups (P>.05, Mann-Whitney U test).

Conclusions: TMJ symptoms were observed to be higher in the patients with RA, AS and pSS than the control group. Dentists and rheumatologists should be aware of TMJ symptoms in patients with rheumatic diseases.

Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis; primary Sjögren's syndrome; rheumatoid arthritis; temporomandibular disorder; temporomandibular joint.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / complications*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnosis
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / etiology*