Background: The temporomandibular (TMJ) is frequently involved in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), however little is known about management of this joint once a patient transitions from pediatric to adult care and about how rheumatologists approach TMJ involvement in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objective of this project was to describe adult rheumatologists' approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ arthritis in adults with JIA or RA.Findings: One hundred and eighteen rheumatologists responded to an online survey of adult rheumatologists in the United States and Canada. Respondents estimated that 1-25% of their patients with RA or JIA had TMJ arthritis. Respondents reported lower rates of MRI use (19%) and higher rates of use of splinting/functional devices (50%) than anticipated. Approximately 80% of respondents reported that their practice had a standardized approach to the evaluation of patients with TMJ arthritis. The most commonly used medical therapies were non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha medications, and methotrexate.Conclusions: Despite the majority of respondents stating that their practices had a standardized approach to the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disease, there nevertheless appeared to be a range of practices reported. Standardizing the evaluation and treatment of TMJ arthritis across practices may benefit both adult and pediatric patients. © 2012 Ringold et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.