Gynocological Dysfunction and TMJ:
One study published some 30 years ago by Al Fonder, DDS, showed that 99% of women with
overt TMJ Dysfunction had gynecological dysfunction of one type or another. This has also been my observation clinically. There is a large number of women whose jaw is dysfuctional to the point that it is effecting their hormone function, yet have not developed any TMJ symptoms (covert dysfunction).
The causal connection is only evident when one studies brain anatomy. Brain research has shown that the trigeminal nerve (jaw nerve) is a major input into the hypothalamus (via the mesencephalic nucleus and thalamus). Also, it is known that Substance P, whose levels are predominantly influenced by the trigeminal nerve, is a major neurotransmitter within the hypothalamus. Research has shown that Substance P interferes with progesterone utilization. One of the main roles of substance P is to serve as a neurotransmitter modulator- and hence as a modulator of neurosecretory cells, thus impacting hormone levels.
Menopause symptoms also appear to be caused often by neurological imbalances. Body temperature is controlled by the brain stem, an area of the brain in which the trigeminal nerve has predominant influence. Clinically,I have seen many patients with hot flashes, cold sweats, and flushing that resolve with jaw therapy. Some of the worst patients with severe temperature fluctuations have been young children.