Objectives The purpose of this study was to evaluate the characteristics, the morphostructural and dysfunctional concerns of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Materials and methods The study was conducted on 45 subjects with JIA, aged between 7 and 19 years. All patients enrolled were subjected to clinical evaluation (medical history, laboratory parameters and type of therapy) and instrumental evaluation (magnetic resonance imaging of the TMJ). Results Of the 45 patients analysed in the sample, 37.8% presented involvement of TMJ. These patients (17 patients, 13 females and 4 males) presented with polyarticular arthritis 41.2% (7 patients), oligoarticular arthritis 35.3% (6 patients), systemic arthritis 11.8% (2 patients), psoriatic arthritis 5.9% (1 patient), Enthesitis Arthritis Syndrome (EAS) 5.9% (1 patient). The main symptoms reported were: TMJ unilateral and bilateral clicking, unilateral and bilateral functional limitation associated with pain, unilateral and bilateral clicking during chewing and mandibular lateral deviation associated with TMJ symptoms. Conclusions The results obtained in this study underline the importance of a careful gnathological evaluation at the onset of JIA. Moreover, periodic follow-ups associated with an early diagnosis are indeed capable of reducing and improving functional and aesthetic problems in these young patients.
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