Giant cell arteritis misdiagnosed as temporomandibular disorder

Here is an interesting abstract on research found regarding the misdiagnosis of TMJ/TMD:

J Orofac Pain. 2009 Fall;23(4):360-5.

Giant cell arteritis misdiagnosed as temporomandibular disorder: a case report and review of the literature.

Reiter S, Winocur E, Goldsmith C, Emodi-Perlman A, Gorsky M.
Deparment of Oral Rehabilitation, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv Unversity, Tel Aviv, Israel.


Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic vasculitis involving medium and large-sized arteries, most commonly the extracranial branches of the carotid artery. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to avoid severe complications. This article reports on a GCA case and discusses how the orofacial manifestations of GCA can lead to misdiagnosis of GCA as temporomandibular disorder. GCA should be included in the differential diagnosis of orofacial pain in the elderly based on the knowledge of related signs and symptoms, mainly jaw claudication, hard end-feel limitation of range of motion, and temporal headache.

Dr. Stan Farrell is Board Certified and  has extensive training in the treatment of TMJ disorders and migraine headaches. His education and training allows him to be able to accurately diagnose if a patient has GCA and not a TMJ disorder. Here at AZ TMJ, we use the latest technology in imaging and treatment methods, to give our patients the best quality care they deserve.