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J Pain. 2009 May;10(5):527-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2008.11.012.

Estrogen receptor-alpha polymorphisms and predisposition to TMJ disorder.

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Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD) affect women with greater frequency than men, and sex hormones may contribute to this female predominance. Therefore, this study investigated whether estrogen receptor-alpha (XbaI/PvuII) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with TMJD in women. DNA was obtained from 200 women with TMJD (100 with chronic pain and 100 with signs of TMJD but no pain) diagnosed according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorder (RDC/TMD) and 100 control women without TMJD. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms of polymerase chain reaction products were used to analyze XbaI and PvuII SNPs in DNA fragments. A model directly characterizing specific DNA sequence variants based on the risk haplotypic structure implemented with the EM algorithm was used to analyze the data. The [GC] haplotype of the XbaI locus was significantly more prevalent in both TMJD groups when compared with the control group (P = .0012). Specifically, the [GC] haplotype was more prevalent within the painful TMJD group versus the control group (OR = 3.203, 95% CI = 1.633, 6.284) and in the TMJD no pain versus the control group (OR = 2.51, 95% CI = 1.267, 4.97). In conclusion, the presence of [GC] haplotype in the XbaI locus may increase the susceptibility of women to develop TMJD.


This study suggests that a polymorphism in the estrogen receptor may increase the risk of women developing temporomandibular joint disorder. This finding may elucidate the interindividual differences in the contribution of estrogen to TMJD, the genetic influences on TMJD predisposition, and may serve as the basis for future treatment tailoring, which could enhance outcomes for these patients.

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