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Volume 28 , Issue 2
Spring 2014

Pages 165170

Tuberculosis of the Temporomandibular Joint: A Case of Misdiagnosis

Hye Jeong Park, DDS, MSD/Bong Chul Kim, DDS, MSD/Eun-Joo Choi, DDS, MSD, PhD/Sara Rebeca Kang Samayoa, DDS, PhD/Hyung-Jun Kim, DDS, MSD, Dr med dent

PMID: 24822240
DOI: 10.11607/ofph.1061

Tuberculosis (TB), an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, continues to be a major health problem worldwide. Primary TB infection is mostly pulmonary, but it may also occur in the lymph nodes, abdomen, skin, meninges, joints, and central nervous system. TB in the head and neck region usually occurs in the cervical lymph nodes, but is extremely rare in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This rarity increases the risk for not considering TB in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with TMJ pain. This article describes an unusual case of a 53-year-old man with painful swelling in the right preauricular area accompanied by difficulty in mouth opening. After surgical exploration, histopathologic findings revealed TB in the TMJ. The findings of this case highlight the importance of considering TB in the differential diagnosis of TMJ pain, especially for patients from endemic areas, patients who have lived or visited those areas, or patients with a preauricular swelling in the TMJ area. J Oral Facial Pain Headache 2014;28: 165170. doi: 10.11607/ofph.1061

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