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Impact of Estrogen on TMJ Pain

Affecting the quality of life for more than 10 million Americans, temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are musculoskeletal conditions associated with pain and dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and muscles of mastication. The pain and dysfunction associated with TMDs are more prevalent among women during reproductive years, suggesting estrogen plays a role in TMD pathophysiology. Studies describe the potential role of hormonal fluctuations as a contributing risk factor for TMD-related pain. Furthermore, evidence suggests estrogen is a prominent hormone, influencing both inflammatory and pain processes.


Which of the following is a risk factor for TMD?

Vector of a young woman toothache, pain, red zone of inflammation Feodora Chiosea / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Estrogen can produce inflammation through various mechanisms of action including stimulation of toll-like receptors (TLR) in the immune system, upregulation of voltage-gated sodium channels, expression of estrogen receptors, or due to genetic variations called polymorphism.

Inflammation concept, inflamed human tissues 3d rendering image_jungle / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Researchers have found estrogen may influence pain receptors, which may highlight the differences between male-female TMD-related pain.

Illustration of an isolated sexual simbols icon set Blablo101 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Treatment modalities for patients experiencing TMD-related pain include which of the following?

Acupuncture and Hot Stone Massage Santje09 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Although TMD pain varies throughout the menstrual cycle, it is the lowest immediately after menses, due to high estrogen levels.

cropped view of white hand holding tampon on pink background with sanitary napkins, paper cut female reproductive internal organs and blood drops LightFieldStudios / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Research suggests that regardless of type, number of injections, and dosage, botulinum toxin-a appears to be effective for TMJ-related muscle disorders.

Anti wrinkle surgery. Beauty young woman injection. Facial treatment Elena Volf / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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The efficacy of all therapeutic options for patients with TMDs is subjective and should be recommended on a case-by-case basis.

Senior man touches his sore jaw area. nebari / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Impact of Estrogen on TMJ Pain
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This information is from the article Estrogen and Temporomandibular Disorders by Tran M. Luu, RDH, BSDH, Faizan Kabani, RDH, MHA, MBA, PhD and Kathleen B. Muzzin, RDH, MS. To read the article, click here.
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