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Acta Odontológica Latinoamericana

versão On-line ISSN 1852-4834


CORDEIRO, Patrícia C. F et al. Temporomandibular joint involvement in rheumatoid arthritis patients: association between clinical and tomographic data. Acta odontol. latinoam. [online]. 2016, vol.29, n.3, pp.219-224. ISSN 1852-4834.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation and synovial hyperplasia, which usually affects multiple joints. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) becomes susceptible to the development of changes resulting from RA. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of TMD and degenerative bone changes in TMJ in patients diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis). The Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/ TMD) questionnaire was used for clinical evaluation of the TMJ and for TMD classification of 49 patients of both sexes and all ages. Individuals who had already undergone prior treatment for TMD and/or with a history of craniofacial trauma were excluded. The participants underwent cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) exams to assess possible degenerative changes in the mandibular condyle and the articular eminence. The frequencies of the changes found are presented and the possible associations between clinical and CT findings analyzed using the chisquare test. It was found that 75% of the patients had complaints of pain in the orofacial region, including arthralgia, myalgia or both. As for the diagnoses, 100% of the sample was diagnosed as RDC/TMD Group III (arthralgia, osteoarthritis or osteoarthrosis). The presence of degenerative bone changes was found in 90% of the subjects, the most prevalent being flattening (78.7%) and osteophytes (39.3%). The association test suggested a greater tendency to develop degenerative changes in asymptomatic individuals (p = 0.01). The asymptomatic nature of the involvement of the TMJ in RA can hide structural damage seen in imaging. Thus, the importance of early diagnosis and treatment to reduce structural and functional damage is emphasized.

Palavras-chave : Rheumatoid arthritis; Temporomandibular joint; Cone beam computed tomography; Temporomandibular disorder.

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