Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the hinges found on both sides of your face that connect your lower jaw to your skull. They work with several muscles to open and close your jaw so that you can eat, yawn, swallow, and speak.
Disruptions in the harmony between TMJs, bones, muscles, and other joints can lead to a TMJ disorder (TMD). But it's not just the physical pain you have to deal with. Your family, friends, and even your doctors may not understand the severity of your condition.
At PRP Clinic at Synergy Medical, we believe you deserve to live without the pain and anxiety of TMJ pain. We offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for your TMD so you can finally smile again.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) categorizes the 30+ types of TMDs into 3 classes:1
In many cases, the exact cause of a TMD is unclear. Bruxism, the involuntary grinding or clenching of your teeth, may cause strain to your TMJs. Other potential causes of TMD pain include trauma to your neck, head, or jaw, and arthritis of the jaw joint disks.2,3
Recent research conducted by the NIDCR also suggests a combination of genetic, psychological, sensory, hormonal, and other factors can contribute to TMDs.1
The following symptoms may indicate a TMD:1,2
It's important to note that signs and symptoms of TMJ pain are temporary in many cases and go away without treatment. If your pain is severe, your doctor may initially recommend conservative treatments, such as:1
But these treatments may not work in some patients. Since untreated or under-treated TMD can lead to severe pain or dysfunction, finding safe and effective therapies is critical.
In essence, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses your blood to stimulate healing.
When you're injured, your platelets help your blood clot by releasing growth factors, proteins, and other anti-inflammatory chemicals .4 Platelets can also attract stem cells to the injury site, where they can form healthy tissue.5
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy refers to the delivery of a high concentration of platelets your TMJ or associated muscles with PRP, experts believe your body will be able to recognize the area as a priority for healing.
Recent studies have shown that PRP injections can help relieve symptoms related to TMD, including those for whom conservative therapies have failed.
Arthrocentesis - also known as joint aspiration - is often used as a treatment for patients with severe TMDs. By removing excess fluid from your TMJ, it also removes inflammatory factors like cytokines, quickly relieving pain and restoring function to the joint.6
One study compared the effectiveness of TMJ arthrocentesis to PRP injections in 52 patients with refractory TMD. After receiving their treatment, patients' conditions were assessed using 3 parameters:
The results showed that PRP was more effective than arthrocentesis in all 3 parameters, demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing TMD symptoms and improving function. 7
A review of 10 published studies compared PRP therapy to arthrocentesis alone or a combination of arthrocentesis and hyaluronic acid. The authors found that PRP alone or combined with arthrocentesis produced superior results to arthrocentesis alone. They also noted that PRP should be preferred to HA injections for pain relief and joint sound improvement.8
Another recent study assessed the effectiveness of PRP injection combined with comprehensive physical therapy for 40 patients with TMJ osteoarthritis. Those who received PRP alone reported improved pain, mouth opening, and joint sounds. However, the patients who underwent the combination treatment (PRP + physical therapy) had more effective medium- and long-term pain control.9
Your provider will provide instructions on how to prepare for your appointment. Some medications like anticoagulants or NSAIDs may need to be stopped.
The entire PRP process, which includes preparation and injection, takes approximately 1 to 1 ½ hour. At PRP Clinic at Synergy Medical, you can expect the following steps:
|A technician will draw a small sample of blood from you, which will be placed in a tube.|
|The vial is placed in a centrifuge, which spins the blood at high speeds. This separates the platelets from the other blood components.|
|We remove the tube from the centrifuge and separate the plasma layer from the other layers which are then discarded.|
|Once the PRP solution is prepared, your provider will inject it into the affected area where the healing process begins.|
Because PRP triggers a cascade of biological responses, you may experience some soreness or swelling in the injection area for a few days. We recommend taking it easy for a few days after your treatment.
Because PRP is an autologous therapy (derived from your own blood), it has an outstanding safety profile. There is no risk of an adverse reaction or disease transmission. Talk to your provider if you're taking any medications or if you experience any severe discomfort after your injection.
TMD affects many of the ways we connect to other people, such as smiling, speaking, and laughing. But you don't have to live in pain.
If you're in the Marysville, OH area and suffering from TMJ pain, we may be able to help. Call us today to learn more about how PRP therapy can improve your symptoms and bring back your smile.