Efficacy of Prolotherapy in Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: An Exploratory Study

J Maxillofac Oral Surg. 2021 Mar;20(1):115-120. doi: 10.1007/s12663-020-01328-9. Epub 2020 Jan 13.


Introduction: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can be treated by both conservative and surgical approaches. Conservative interventions with predictable benefits can be considered as first-line treatment for such disorders. Dextrose prolotherapy is one of the most promising approaches in the management of TMDs, especially in refractory cases where other conservative management has failed.

Aim: To study the efficacy of prolotherapy and to establish it as an effective procedure in patients with TMJ disorders, to provide long-term solution to chronic TMJ pain and dysfunctions.

Patients and methods: We conducted a study on 25 patients suffering from various TMJ disorders who were treated with prolotherapy, the solution consisting of 1 part of 50% dextrose (0.75 ml); 2 parts of lidocaine (1.5 ml); and 1 part of warm saline (0.75 ml). The standard programme is to repeat the injections three times, at 2-week interval, which totals four injection appointments over 6 weeks with 3-month follow-up.

Results: There was appreciable reduction in tenderness in TMJ and masticatory muscles with significant improvement in mouth opening. The effect of the treatment in improving clicking and deviation of TMJ was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05). There were no permanent complications.

Conclusion: Our study concluded that prolotherapy is an effective therapeutic modality that reduces TMJ pain, improves joint stability and range of motion in a majority of patients. It can be a first-line treatment option as it is safe, economical and an easy procedure associated with minimal morbidity.

Keywords: Dextrose; Prolotherapy; Refractory; TMD; TMJ.