Temporomandibular Disorders and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Scoping review with a case report

Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2020 Dec;21(4):303-308. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2020.21.04.9.


Backgroud: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) encompasses a wide range of mostly idiopathic autoimmune arthritis which affect growing individuals. Temporomandibular disorders are a diffuse spectrum of diseases which involve temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and associated structures. However, much more need to be defined in order to detect and manage these conditions. Albeit satisfying evidences exist about their impact on the adult population, there is great lack of information in children. The current study has been developed in order to overview what it is known about these disorders and their mutual interactions. A case report as support to the scientific evidence has been further described.

Case report: A 7-year-old patient affected by an undifferentiated form of JIA developed arthritis to TMJs, complaining pain and functional impairments. After 2 years, the follow-up with combined pharmacological therapies and a modified oral stabilisation appliance shows no objective worsening of the joints' structures. However, the more complex symptomatic management of inflammation highlights the need for further knowledge.

Conclusion: The present study shows that both literature and clinical activity highlight a strong relationship between JIA and TMDs, that can affect the quality of life of children and adolescents. Diagnosis and management of these conditions are extremely complex, thus additional studies and evidence are needed. However, the need of an interdisciplinary approach between rheumatologists, paediatricians and dentists has been demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Juvenile* / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Juvenile* / therapy
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Quality of Life
  • Temporomandibular Joint
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders* / therapy