Metastatic melanoma misdiagnosed as a temporomandibular disorder: A case report and review of the literature

Samir Singh, Bhavik Desai, Daniel Laskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Background. Malignancies in the head and neck region are difficult to diagnose because of their deep location and presence of symptoms mimicking those of temporomandibular disorders or other orofacial pain disorders.

Case Description. A 75-year-old woman reported experiencing right-sided jaw pain, temporal discomfort and paresthesia. She had undergone conservative therapy for temporomandibular joint disorder, which was unsuccessful. A magnetic resonance image of the midface revealed a mass on the base of the tongue along with possible metastatic lesions to the brain. Further investigation of the lesions revealed them to be metastatic melanoma.

Practical Implications. Patients with atypical symptoms of facial pain, including neurological signs, should undergo further investigation with advanced imaging to determine the source of the symptoms, which could include neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1057
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014



  • Metastatic melanoma
  • Neoplasms
  • Oral medicine
  • Orofacial
  • Pain
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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