Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ)

Case Study 1

What is Juvenile Idiopathic Condylar Resorption?

Recent recognition of the markedly high prevalence of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) arthritis in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), coupled with the significant morbidity associated with TMJ damage has prompted increased interest in both the clinical and pathological aspects of TMJ arthritis. Although TMJ arthritis in JIA is frequently asymptomatic, the TMJ is particularly susceptible to damage from arthritis due to its unique anatomy and biochemical composition. Unlike other synovial joints, the mandibular growth plate lies under a thin layer of fibrocartilage located at the surface of the condylar head.  Mandibular growth occurs within this center from the prenatal period until just after puberty, and damage to the growth center due to inflammation or trauma during this time period frequently results in alterations to mandibular growth. In JIA, this damage has been associated with a number of clinically significant outcomes, including decreased chewing ability, malocclusion, and micrognathia.

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