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How does a PRP treatment work for TMJ pain?

Woman showing signs of jaw pain.

If you’re not familiar with temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ, it is a condition denoted by damage or injury caused to the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. Those who have received this diagnosis have reported the misalignment of their teeth and, in extreme cases, their jaw. Additionally, many patients have experienced headaches, jaw clicking, pain in the temple area, and locking of the jaw. To say that this is a serious problem, would be an understatement.

Fortunately, there are a number of options available for treating TMJ. And in this article, we will detail a few of the more common treatments, including PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma).

How to Treat TMJ

Before discussing platelet-rich plasma and how it provides relief for those struggling with TMJ, let’s take a moment to identify a few lifestyle changes, as well as specific medications, which have also been proven to be effective.

Popular over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen is a great way to manage the pain and inflammation brought on by TMJ. Also, making small lifestyle changes like reducing stress, gently massaging the jaw/neck can be effective. Lastly, avoid chewing gum or hard candies as this may exacerbate an already bad situation.

It’s important to note that the severity of TMJ can vary from patient to patient. In some cases, patients may require an advanced treatment protocol involving prescription medication, dental splints, physical therapy and, lastly, surgery.

How Effective is Platelet Rich Plasma for Treatment of TMJ

As the name may suggest, PRP is blood plasma composed of concentrated platelets that work collectively to repair damaged tissues in the body.

So how effective is PRP when it comes to treating TMJ? It is very effective, actually; according to a study published in the Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, PRP injections were found to be on par with that of hyaluronic acid injections.

It is also important to note that an overwhelming majority of study participants reported reduced pain after receiving their respective PRP injections, not to mention a reduction in the popping and clicking sounds synonymous with TMJ.

Are You a Candidate for PRP?

Ideally, you are encouraged to visit a dental practitioner who can properly evaluate your condition. If TMJ is confirmed, the extent of the injury or damage to the joint will dictate the appropriate treatment regimen.

Although PRP injections have a proven effective, there are other treatments. And in very severe cases, surgery may be the only recourse available to you. Having said that, you’re encouraged to try some of the previously mentioned at-home treatment.

If you haven’t found any relief, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Kathryn Sneed, a general dentist with advanced training in TMJ & Trigger injections using both Botox & PRP with more than 15 years experience. For more information,  call 901-236-7722 to schedule a consultation.