Radiographic signs in the temporomandibular joint in Reiter's disease

Mauno Könönen, Outi Kovero, Bengt Wenneberg, Yrjö T Konttinen
Journal of Orofacial Pain 2002, 16 (2): 143-7

AIMS: To investigate whether involvement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can occur in men with Reiter's disease (RD).

METHODS: Forty-nine men with RD and 49 individually matched (gender, age and dentition type) controls with no known general joint disease were screened for findings in the TMJ by panoramic tomography.

RESULTS: Duration of subjective symptoms (e.g., pain) in the masticatory system correlated with duration of RD (P = .05). In the RD group, severity of clinical signs of symptoms correlated with the progressive form of RD (P = .01), number of affected joints (P = .0001), and involvement of the cervical (P = .0001) and lumbar spine (P = .05). Patients with RD more frequently had radiographic findings (33%) in the condyle of the TMJ than did controls (10%) (P = .002). The most characteristic radiographic sign in the condyle in the RD group was unilateral erosion (12%).

CONCLUSION: Patients with RD often have erosion causing pain and dysfunction in the TMJ. Potential masticatory system problems for such patients should be brought to the attention of dentists and physicians.

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