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Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) and Systemic Sclerosis (SSc)

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer

Pills Too by Shelley EnszTMJ problems are common in otherwise healthy people. A very rare cause of TMJ is systemic sclerosis (SSc), commonly known as scleroderma. The TMJ joint is the jaw joint, which is located in front of each ear. TMJ symptoms include jaw pain, muscle spasms in the jaw and surrounding face muscles, headaches, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or earache. (Also see Scleroderma Dental Involvement, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, Systemic Sclerosis and Sjogren's Syndrome)

Management of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD): A surgeon's perspective. A multidisciplinary team approach to management is essential in the fundamental care of all TMD patients so that treatment can be specifically tailored to individual patient needs. PubMed, Aust Dent J, 2018 Mar;63 Suppl 1:S79-S90.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) involvement in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients: association between clinical and tomographic data. The asymptomatic nature of the involvement of the TMJ in RA can hide structural damage seen in imaging and thus, the importance of early diagnosis and treatment to reduce structural and functional damage is emphasized. PubMed, Acta Odontol Latinoam, 2016 Dec;29(3):123-129.

The Canadian Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) Oral Health Study V: Relationship Between Disease Characteristics and Oral Radiologic Findings in Systemic Sclerosis. In SSc, a wide periodontal ligament may reflect generalized overproduction of collagen and mandibular erosions are related to local factors in the oral cavity. PubMed, Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 09/28/2015.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) Found to Be a Common Condition in Systemic Sclerosis Patients. TMJD is a common condition in systemic sclerosis patients, and it correlates with disease severity. Scleroderma News, 07/24/2015.

Scleroderma (SSc) and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ): reconstruction in 2 variants. Patients with SSc can safely undergo TMJ reconstruction with anticipated good results, but that the overall severity of the disease remains paramount in determining the feasibility of corrective surgery under this diagnosis. PubMed, J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 2015 Jun;73(6):1199-210.

Management of temporomandibular joint ankylosis. The management goal in TMJ ankylosis is to increase the patient's mandibular function, correct associated facial deformity, decrease pain, and prevent reankylosis. PubMed, Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am, 2015 Feb;27(1):27-35.

Tinnitus is ringing or noise in the ear, which is often caused by TMJ problems.

The TMJ Association features support and resources for TMJ patients.

Related Topic: Autoimmune Ear Disease ISN.

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