Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, now called juvenile idiopathic arthritis, may affect many joints in the body. One of those most commonly affected is the joint of the jaw, called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Though arthritis in the TMJ frequently does not have early symptoms, it may cause abnormalities in the growth of the surfaces where the joints meet. These result in damage to the joint, leading to facial growth issues, pain, and in difficulty opening and closing the jaw.
Specialized imaging of the jaw and face is important in the evaluation and early diagnosis of this condition.