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Cranio. 2014 Jan;32(1):31-7.

Stomatognathic system involvement in rheumatoid arthritis patients.



Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and stomatognathic system involvement are usually observed during the course of rheumatoid arthritis.


This article presents the findings during examination of 190 TMJs from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, and 44 TMJs from controls without RA, including a description of signs and symptoms related to the stomatognathic system, radiological findings in hands-, and TMJ, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) values, and scores obtained in the Disease Activity Score (Das 28) and the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ).


The sample included 57.89% TMJs associated with spontaneous pain, 87.89% with signs of destruction in radiological images, and 58.94% with 20 teeth or less. Restricted mouth opening was detected in 42.1% of RA patients, from which 71% had blocked opening; headache was present in 58%, and pain in the masticatory muscles was found in 57%. TMJ erosions had a significant association with Larsen scores (r=0.62), but not with the Das 28, HAQ, and ESR values.


The early evaluation of this joint and the collaborative work of odontologists and rheumatologists are both necessary for a better management of TMJ pathologies.

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