Temporomandibular joint involvement in rheumatoid arthritis. Relationship with disease activity

Scand J Rheumatol. 1995;24(1):22-5. doi: 10.3109/03009749509095149.


Involvement of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is described, but the incidence varies greatly. In this study our aim was to determine the frequency and character of TMJ involvement in RA patients asymptomatic for this joint, to investigate the relationship with disease activity, and to evaluate the early diagnostic value of imaging techniques. Twenty patients were included in this study, ten were evaluated with computed tomography (CT) and ten with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Among the 20 patients 45% had TMJ involvement detected by imaging techniques. The most frequent pathological signs were osteophyte formation, erosion of the mandibular condyle and decreased joint space (40%). Age, duration of disease, number of swollen joints. CRP and RF levels were found to be correlated with TMJ involvement. It is concluded that TMJ involvement may be detected even in asymptomatic patients with RA and there is a positive correlation between the severity of disease and involvement of TMJ.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed