Orbital pseudotumor presenting as a temporomandibular disorder: A case report and review of literature

Mythili Kalladka, Sowmya Ananthan, Eli Eliav, Cibele Nasri-Heir, Junad Khan, Gary Heir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Overview: Orofacial pain has multifactorial causes and is often a diagnostic challenge. Misdiagnosis can result in morbidity or mortality due to misdirected and inappropriate treatment. A delay of necessary treatment, in cases of ominous illnesses, may result in its perpetuation or progression. The authors present a case report that illustrates these possibilities. Case Description: This case report describes a 36-year-old woman with the chief symptom of painless, limited mandibular movement. She also reported restricted movement of the left eye. She was previously diagnosed and treated for a traumatic right inferior alveolar nerve neuropathy, migraine, myofascial pain, and bilateral temporomandibular joint disk displacement with minimal benefit. Eventually she sought an orofacial pain evaluation, presuming her problems were related to a temporomandibular disorder. A complete history and comprehensive clinical evaluation including a cranial nerve screening evaluation, intraoral and extraoral examinations, an evaluation of the masticatory system, and dental radiographs were performed. The cranial nerve screening examination found painful, restricted eye movements. Magnetic resonance revealed a large, soft tissue mass in the inferolateral wall of the left orbit with soft tissue components in the infratemporal fossa and pterygoid space, involving the lateral pterygoid muscle and insertion of the temporalis muscle. The patient was referred to appropriate medical specialties and the diagnosis of orbital pseudotumor was confirmed and the patient was treated appropriately. Conclusions and Practical Implications: The case emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive evaluation of a patient with preexisting orofacial pain when new symptoms arise or if there is a change in existing symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-988
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


  • Orbital pseudotumor
  • orofacial pain
  • temporomandibular disorder


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