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Int Rev Neurobiol. 2011;97:251-84. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385198-7.00010-2.

Neurobiology of estrogen status in deep craniofacial pain.

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1
Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.

Abstract

Pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region often occurs with no overt signs of injury or inflammation. Although the etiology of TMJ-related pain may involve multiple factors, one likely risk factor is female gender or estrogen status. Evidence is reviewed from human and animal studies, supporting the proposition that estrogen status acts peripherally or centrally to influence TMJ nociceptive processing. A new model termed the "TMJ pain matrix" is proposed as critical for the initial integration of TMJ-related sensory signals in the lower brainstem that is both modified by estrogen status, and closely linked to endogenous pain and autonomic control pathways.

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