Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
Craniomandibular disorders cause many pleomorphic and seemingly unrelated clinical manifestations that mimic other more serious medical problems and thus can present physicians and dentists with a challenge that invites misdiagnosis and improper treatment planning. Conversely, misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment planning are facilitated when serious medical problems manifest a range of signs and symptoms that are clinically similar to temporomandibular joint muscle dysfunction. At times, the patient’s response to therapy may be the best method of corroborating a diagnosis, as illustrated in this report of a patient with
Lyme disease that was misdiagnosed as a temporomandibular joint disorder.
Lyme disease has already reached epidemic proportions in several parts of the United States and its geographic distribution is spreading. Because
Lyme disease is a life-threatening illness whose clinical manifestations can mimic temporomandibular joint/myofascial pain-dysfunction, it is the responsibility of every dentist who treats craniomandibular disorders to become familiar with the clinical presentations of
Lyme disease and more proficient in its differential diagnosis.