Dental Tribune Asia Pacific

Scientists reveal why more women suffer from TMJ disorder

By Dental Tribune International
August 14, 2013

BEIJING, China: More than twice as many women as men suffer from temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis. However, the mechanism underlying this significant sex difference is still not fully understood by specialists. Now, a team of Chinese researchers has suggested that oestrogens could worsen the condition.

In the study, researchers at the Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology treated five groups of female rats with 17β-estradiol, one of the most important natural oestrogens, at a dosage of 0, 20 and 80 μg/day, respectively.

They found that the sex hormone increased cartilage degradation and subchondral bone erosion of the temporomandibular joint in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, they observed that it up-regulated a number of genes that induce programmed cell death.

The findings suggest that certain oestrogens could aggravate temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis, which may be an important mechanism underlying the sexual dimorphism of the disorder.

The study, titled “Estrogen aggravates iodoacetate-induced temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis”, was published online on 9 August in the Journal of Dental Research ahead of print.

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