I’ve spent many, many years treating patients with TMJ disorders, with the majority of them being women. And this isn’t just at Pasadena Pain Management. Millions of people worldwide suffer from TMJ pain, and more than three-quarters of them are women between the ages of 19 and 49.
In fact, women are diagnosed five times more frequently than men with TMJ and tend to have more severe symptoms.
But why women? How are they different from men when it comes to a TMJ disorder? Here are some reasons, backed by research, why women are more affected.
1. Women are more responsive to their emotions and to stress
It’s no secret that there is a direct connection between TMJ and stress.
Stress can have a widespread impact on our oral health — from tense muscles, clenched jaws, and teeth grinding.
Research has shown that women tend to report higher levels of anxiety and stress than men and are more responsive to that stress. Many women also tend to be deficient in magnesium, a mineral that can help regulate stress levels.
2. Differences in the bone structure and muscle density
There’s one simple reason why more women than men suffer from TMJ: their jaw bones are different.
Women’s jaw bones aren’t designed exactly the same way as their male counterparts. The upper jaw bones in males are longer, wider, and thicker. Researchers are still working to understand how exactly these disparities are related to TMJ, but it is certain that they play some role in how each gender experiences the disorder.
3. Estrogen hormones and contraceptives
Researchers are trying to better understand if and how estrogen may contribute to TMJ in women. Women have estrogen receptors in their jaw and when the jaw is misaligned, some scientists believe they could interfere with pain signals and hormonal regulation process, thus making women feel the painful symptoms of TMJ more acutely.
Women also experience hormone fluctuations more often than men, meaning that their experience of pain can change depending on the levels of estrogen in their body at a given time. Estrogen generally helps fight pain, but if you’re taking contraceptives to lower estrogen, then you’re likely to experience pain, including pain from TMJ more often.
TMJ Disorder Treatment in Pasadena
No matter if you’re a man or woman struggling with TMJ, relief is possible. If TMJ symptoms are interfering with your life, it’s time to call Pasadena Pain Management at 626-773-8333.
FREE consultations are available. You can also schedule an appointment online.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea and pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.