What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

The Temporomandibular joint is the sliding hinge joint that links our jaw to the rest of the skull. A Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ Disorder is a dysfunction in this hinge joint. This disorder causes pain in the bone and muscles that control the movement of the jaw. Genetic and environmental factors can cause TMJ Disorder. In most cases, the pain is temporary. Moreover, patients can get relief via self-care or non-invasive surgical procedures. One of these procedures is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP Therapy) for TMJ disorder.

What is PRP?

PRP offers a safe, all-natural, quick, minimally invasive and budget-friendly treatment plan for TMJ disorder. With this treatment, patients can recover quickly.

PRP treatment for TMJ disorder for athletes involves the administration of the patient’s platelet-rich blood. The doctor injects the blood back into the area of the lesion to speed up the healing process.

This blood is high in concentration of regenerative, bioactive, autologous, and entirely natural growth factors. Compared to its alternative, low-concentration blood plasma, PRP blood is thirty times rich in proteins, PDGF, VEGF, TGF-Beta, FGF, and IGF-1. All these elements promote faster growth.

The Evidence for PRP

PRP for Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries

Animal-based research on autologous leukocyte-reduced PRP therapy for musculoskeletal sports injuries shows promising results. However, clinicians are still on the fence about it.

Three of the most-cited studies on PRP for muscular healing can be viewed here, here, and here. All of these research papers examine extensively the effect of PRP on musculoskeletal injuries.

In the second study, in particular, magnetic resonance follow-up pre-injury and post-injury showed that patients had increased thickness in muscles where PRP had been injected. Moreover, the healing was complete, rather than how fragmented musculoskeletal injury healing usually is.

PRP Therapy for TMJ Disorder

Some studies also indicate that PRP effectively repairs nearly chronic injury jaw, returning the patient to their normal levels of physical activity before the injury had occurred. Multiple studies further elucidate that PRP injections improve mandibular range of motion. Moreover, the injections can also decrease the intensity of the pain within the first year of the treatment.

In fact, PRP is more beneficial for treating TMJ disorders than the administration of other similar injection-based treatments, like hyaluronic acid or saline.

Some Flaws in the Studies

While there have been positive results, many studies on PRP, in general, suggest that the data is still limited and follow-up is still in process. Controversies exist purely because the treatment is fairly new, and more research is necessary to validate PRP for musculoskeletal sports injuries.

In one of the aforementioned studies, there were multiple limitations despite the overall results favoring PRP for muscular disorders. These include a small number of patients, absence of a specific and repeated site of administration, and no long-term follow up.

Additionally, there is some evidence that the plasma used in PRP may have extra amounts of neutrophils are allergins and inflammation-causing cell, and so they may end up harming the muscles instead.

In Conclusion

It’s entirely possible that PRP could emerge as a successful, non-invasive treatment plan for TMJ disorders. However, currently, specialists are treading with caution.

If enough methodologically approved qualitative results have appeared, and a sampling size of the research increases, PRP could open a plethora of cost-effective, non-invasive, fast-paced medical procedures for musculoskeletal dysfunctioning.