Craniofacial structures, occlusal features, and TMD symptoms in juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients: a retrospective study

Eur J Orthod. 2023 Feb 10;45(1):88-95. doi: 10.1093/ejo/cjac037.


Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a chronic inflammatory disease in which temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis commonly occurs. It may be asymptomatic and could cause problems in the growing joints. Our aim was to evaluate the craniofacial structures, occlusal features and temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) symptoms of patients with JIA.

Methods: The study consisted of 195 JIA patients treated at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Helsinki University Hospital (HUH), Finland between 2015 and 2019. We retrospectively screened their medical and dental records and classified them according to age at JIA diagnosis (<7 and ≥7 years).

Results: Most of the patients had Angle Class I occlusion in both sides. Among all the patients, the mean overjet, and overbite were 3.3 mm and 2.4 mm, respectively. There were more open bite patients in the ≥7 years old group than in the <7 years old group (P = 0.010). Of all patients, 47% reported at least one TMD symptom. The TMD symptoms were more common in participants ≥7 years old than those <7 years old (P = 0.005).

Conclusion: Occlusal features and the incidence of malocclusions seem to have similar tendency among the JIA patients with systematic visits in rheumatologist and orthodontist as in the healthy population, except for open bite that is more common with JIA patients. While treating JIA patients, a well-functioning collaboration between paediatric rheumatologists and orthodontists is essential, as well as a clear screening protocol to detect potentially asymptomatic TMJ arthritis. Particular attention should be paid to children with JIA under school age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Juvenile* / complications
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Open Bite*
  • Overbite*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Temporomandibular Joint
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders* / etiology