5 reasons why women have more TMJ problems

TMJ dysfunction has consistently been found to be larger in female vs male genders.  Even though studies do not have an exact consensus on why, here are 5 reasons that are proposed.  Make sure you stick around for #5!

  1. Females typically are more flexible than men. The joint laxity from genetic origin can make the joint more susceptible to micro-trauma from increased range of motion, especially to the articular disc.

  2. The female sexual hormone, Oestradiol, induces pro-inflammatory cytokines that can aggravate any underlying inflammation in the TMJ.

  3. The shape of the condyle, which is involved in gliding under the articular disc, has been shown to be more “flat” in females.  This could then allow for the disc to migrate more towards the front (or anterior) and cause displacement.  For patients, this could be why females have more clicking in the jaw, especially when the jaw is opened wide.

  4. Women go to doctors more often than men and then typically will get treated more often.

  5. Men cause all pain in women.

Dr. Harrison Vaughan is a physical therapist and co-owner of PhysioFit of North Carolina. He specializes in upper quarter conditions, including the management of TMD and neck pain. All of the therapies are 1 on 1 in nature and include manual therapy, specific home exercise program and education on improving sleeping posture, ergonomics and other health related lifestyle changes that treat you as a whole person.