How is TMJ pain treated?

Written by: Top Doctors®
Published: | Updated: 11/04/2023
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the only mobile joint we have in the face. It is situated just in front of the auricular pavilion in the upper part of the jaw and is responsible for moving the jaw.

What types of treatment are there for TMJ pain?

Pain and other joint symptoms are fairly common among patients. Each patient is different, consequently there is no single treatment for TMJ problems.

There is a step-by-step procedure that is applied according to the precise diagnosis of each patient and the stage of their condition. Treatment can be

  • Simple non-invasive techniques such as a splint or physiotherapy treatments
  • Minimally invasive surgery techniques such as arthrocentesis or the use of growth factors or arthroscopy,
  • Open joint surgery techniques, including joint replacement techniques.

Are there minimally invasive techniques for TMJ pain?

In some patients, two techniques of minimally invasive surgery are combined. One of them is arthrocentesis, a well-known technique to wash the joint cavity. The TMJ is washed with Ringer’s solution to eliminate the possible catabolites that appear there and also to remove adhesions that appear in the joint. This technique is combined with the use of growth factors also known as plasma rich in growth factors.

What is the treatment with growth factors for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain?

Plasma rich in growth factors is a completely autologous product, i.e. it is a natural product derived from the patient. The plasma is obtained from two tubes of the patient’s blood which is subjected to a specific technique of centrifugation. This results in blood in differentiated fractions. One of these fractions of blood contains a large number of platelets and these platelets in turn, will release for a certain time what we know as growth factors. These growth factors allow for faster tissue healing and better healing of wounds and scars.

Is it necessary to use anaesthesia to perform the treatment?

When the treatment of arthrocentesis is combined with infiltration of growth factors, it is usally done with local anaesthesia and mild intravenous sedation. It is an outpatient procedure and the advantage of doing so with sedation is that it improves patient comfort and their perception of the procedure.

What is the effectiveness of the application of growth factors for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain?

Growth factors have been used for some time in other joints of the body and are being used especially in many elite athletes. They have already demonstrated its usefulness in muscle injuries, tendon lesions and cartilaginous lesions, accelerating healing and improving the rehabilitation of this type of patient.


By Topdoctors
Oral & maxillofacial surgery

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