I went to my first JRA informational meeting on Saturday. Two of the kids stayed and did crafts and pet an aligator in another room (I would love to have seen that!) while I listened to a doctor talk about the effects of arthritis and TMJ. He had amazing before and after pictures of patients with jaw problems. Basically if you have TMJ resulting from arthritis, there is mandibular hypomobility and loss of posterior face height. Several of the patients were from Guatamala and Ecuador, so obviously the chance of early detection and treatment is not as high as in the States. But it was scary to see what could happen - when the condyle erodes away, the chin disappears, the cheeks puff up and you cannot close your mouth without straining.
But I learned some new vocabulary in the process: ginglymodiarthrodial; condyle reconstruction surgery; and arthrocentesis. Don't ask me to explain them. We just hope we never have to deal with this!