The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may be affected in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Clinical features:

(1) Pain is present in the temporomandibular joint that may be described as aching or boring and which tends to be worse in the morning.

(2) Crepitus may be present in the joint.

(3) Preauricular pain may be present.

(4) Preauricular erythema may be present.

(5) Tenderness may be noted in the external acoustic meatus.

(6) The joint shows a decreased range of motion and eventually may develop ankylosis.

(7) The patient may develop difficulty in chewing and speaking.

(8) Other joints will show arthritis.


Laboratory features:

(1) positive assay for rheumatoid factor (RF)


Imaging studies of the TMJ:

(1) increased synovial tissue within the joint on ultrasonography

(2) narrowing of the joint space on radiographs


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