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PRP Treatment for TMJ Disorders

Published: 07/22/2021

PRP Treatment for TMJ Disorders: New Research Review

A recent clinical study of 52 patients with refractory disorders of the temporomandibular joint evaluated the effectiveness of arthrocentesis and PRP injection. The results showed a statistically significant advantage of PRP over arthrocentesis in all three symptom measures:

  1. Pain intensity
  2. Temporomandibular joint clicking
  3. Maximum interincisal opening

About Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Temporomandibular joint disorders are disorders of the temporomandibular joints, jaw muscles, and nerves that control chewing and jaw movement. They can be associated with:

  • Chronic facial pain
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Swelling in the face
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

These symptoms can be very difficult for patients to manage, leading to a decrease in functioning and quality of life.

The Challenge of Refractory TMD

TMDs present a challenge for the physician as they’re often resistant to conservative treatments like medications, hot/cold therapy, splinting, and exercises. Since they are progressive conditions, often leading to disc displacement and osteoarthritis, finding effective therapies is critical.

In refractory cases, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and arthrocentesis are frequently used to manage symptoms of TMD.

Arthrocentesis – or joint aspiration – is often viewed as the first line, minimally invasive treatment for refractory TMD. In arthrocentesis, a syringe is used to drain the fluid from the joint capsule. The process also breaks down disc adhesions present in the dysfunctional joint. Pain relief in arthrocentesis is primarily due to the removal of inflammatory mediators like cytokines and interleukins.

PRP injection results in functional recovery of the temporomandibular joint by actually regenerating the joint structures. It also leads to restored hyaluronic acid levels within the joint which restores cartilage production and joint lubrication. The use of PRP not only stimulates the inflammatory response, but also inhibits excess inflammation. This dual action improves tissue healing and helps to restore joint cartilage and articular cartilage.

Clinical Study Shows Superior Effectiveness of PRP in Refractory TMD

Many studies have been conducted to compare the effects of arthrocentesis and PRP injection in TMD.

The present study included patients having TMJ pain unresponsive to conservative therapy like pain relievers, muscle relaxers, jaw exercises, heat therapy, and splint therapy. Patients were included in the study if they met the following criteria:

  • Having TMJ pain during movement
  • Restricted mouth opening due to TMJ dysfunction
  • TMJ clicking sounds

After initial evaluation, 52 patients qualified for the study and were randomly divided in two groups. Group A (test group) consisted of 26 patients, who underwent intraarticular PRP injection in the temporomandibular joint. Group B (control group) consisted of 26 patients who underwent arthrocentesis of the temporomandibular joint.

The results of the study showed that PRP therapy was more effective than arthrocentesis in relieving TMD symptoms. PRP resulted in better pain relief and improved jaw functioning compared to arthrocentesis. Improved jaw functioning was determined based on increased maximum interincisal opening and decreased TMJ clicking. The improvement in all three parameters in the PRP group was statistically significant over the arthrocentesis group.

This study holds great promise for achieving pain relief and improved function in patients with refractory TMDs. PRP injection should be viewed as a first line, effective, and minimally invasive treatment option for patients experiencing these disorders.

A Solution for Physicians and Patients

Patients suffering from TMDs are searching for alternative solutions to their pain and dysfunction. At Dr. PRP, we offer complete, affordable systems to help you incorporate PRP safely into your practice.

To view and order Dr. PRP kits and PRP centrifuges, visit our online store.

For questions and to discuss our products in more detail, contact us today at 844-377-7787 (DR- PRP-US).