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Using Red Light Therapy for TMJ Pain Management

July 2, 2024
Using Red Light Therapy for TMJ Pain Management

Red light therapy (RLT) is used to treat a wide variety of health conditions. Recently, this technology has shown to be effective at reducing pain and other symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. How does red light therapy work when it comes to treating TMJ? Here’s what you need to know to determine if this treatment option may be right for you. 

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy uses a low-level laser that emits red or near-infrared light. When red light therapy is applied to bodily tissues such as the skin and muscles, it can initiate healing. The science behind it is that the red light stimulates the production of mitochondria that give cells energy. With this therapy the cells can function and repair themselves more effectively. 

What is TMJ Disorder? 

TMJ disorder is a condition affecting the temporomandibular joints, the location on each side of the head where the lower jaw connects to the skull. The TMJ is located in front of the ear canal and the muscles that control it extend up to the temple region of your head and down across your jaw and neck. When these joints become misaligned or strained, pain can develop along with swelling and inflammation. 

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder 

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include: 

  • Pain in the jaw, face, or neck
  • Headaches, especially in the temple region of the head
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • A clicking or popping sound when you move your jaw to talk or chew 
  • Pain in the ear

How Does RLT Work to Treat TMJ? 

TMJ disorder results in muscle tension and inflammation, but red light therapy can relax the muscles and promote healing of the tissues that are the source of the pain. The laser light can be applied directly to the temporomandibular joints. You may feel a warming sensation where the light is being directed, which is how you know it is working. 

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for TMJ Treatment 

There are many benefits of using red light therapy to treat TMJ disorder, including: 

  • Non-invasive. Red light therapy is completely non-invasive. The laser light is simply directed at the skin in the area of pain and inflammation. 
  • No anesthesia. There is no anesthesia required to receive red light therapy because it causes no discomfort, simply a warming sensation of the skin and tissues. 
  • No injections. Red light therapy is a needle-free alternative to injections such as Botox or steroids. 
  • Effective therapy. RLT is highly effective for many patients who are experiencing TMJ symptoms such as pain and limited range of motion. 
  • Long term relief. Many patients experience long term relief of their TMJ symptoms after receiving red light therapy. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Red Light Therapy

What are the side effects or risks of red light therapy? 

Red light therapy has minimal side effects when administered by a trained professional. Skin irritation can occur if the laser is applied to the same area for too long. 

Do I need eye protection for red light therapy? 

You may need eye protection for red light therapy when it is applied to the TMJ because the area is close to your eyes. Your doctor will provide the necessary eye protection as a precaution. 

Where Can I Get Red Light Therapy for TMJ? 

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder, Advanced Endodontics provides red light therapy. We make it a priority to keep up to date with cutting edge technology to improve our patients’ experience and quality of life. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

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