Diagnosis of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis in children


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis involves fusion of the mandibular condyle with the base of the skull.

It results in functional, esthetic, and psychosocial limitations, if it affects children at an early age. Hence, it is important to recognize and diagnose the pathology and provide immediate treatment alternatives to improve the patient condition.

In this case report, we highlight the diagnostic perspective of TMJ ankylosis in children, and the use of 3D computed tomography as an effective diagnostic aid.

Introduction : Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) ankylosis is a disabling condition of mastication in which the condylar movement is limited by a mechanical problem in the joint (true ankylosis) or a mechanical cause not related to the joint components (false ankylosis).

In children, trauma is identifi ed as the main cause of TMJ ankylosis (57-63%). The other etiological factors are infections, rheumatoid arthritis, hypoparathyroidism, psoriasis, and burns.

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Ankylosis in children can have a tremendous effect on physical and psychological well-being due to restricted mouth opening, inability to chew food, and poor oral hygiene.

Due to growth deformity, the child may become shy and reclusive and have a low self-esteem. Trauma to TMJ in early childhood can affect the growth potential of the mandible.


° Shetty Priya / Thomas Ann / Sowmya B.

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