Patients with hemophilia are more likely to develop temporomandibular disorders than healthy people, a new study by Turkish researchers found. The authors linked this to an increased susceptibility to temporomandibular joint bleeding in these patients.

“There are very limited number of studies on this subject,” the researchers wrote. “It is thought that this study, which evaluates the [temporomandibular joint] health of patients with hemophilia and coagulation factor deficiency, will contribute to the literature in this scope and shed light on future studies.”

Joint problems are common among hemophilia patients. In the present study, a team of researchers led by Zühre Kaya, MD, a professor of pediatric hematology in the Department of Pediatrics at Gazi University Medical School in Ankara, Turkey, investigated whether the temporomandibular joint is affected in hemophilia patients and patients with other coagulation factor disorders.

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They evaluated the temporomandibular joints of 44 people with hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or rare factor deficiencies and 45 healthy controls using a questionnaire and clinical examination.

They found that the signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders were more prevalent among patients with coagulation factor disorders than in healthy controls. These signs and symptoms included pain in the jaw, temples, or ears at rest or when moving the jaw; “closed lock,” a clinical condition that limits mouth opening and causes temporomandibular joint pain; and jaw and temporomandibular joint noises during mouth opening and closing. Closed lock and jaw joint noises were reported by patients but were not present on clinical examination.

Based on these findings, the researchers speculated that the frequency of temporomandibular disease might be higher in patients with coagulation factor disorders due to their increased susceptibility to joint bleeding.

Temporomandibular disorders are disorders affecting the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and nerves, leading to chronic facial pain.

The article is published in the Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.


Yenel S, Çankal DA, Kayali SK, Akarslan Z, Çulha V, Kaya Z. Temporomandibular disorders in patients with inherited coagulation disorders: a clinical study. J Stomatol Oral Maxillofac Surg. Published online October 14, 2021. doi:10.1016/j.jormas.2021.10.005