Differences in anatomical, physiological, and hormonal features between men and women may help to explain the fact that women are more sensitive to pain and experience more chronic orofacial pain, according to a clinical review in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Several chronic pain conditions—including temporomandibular disorders—are more prevalent in women than in men, according to Dr. Thuan Dao at the University of Toronto. Another study cited in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice found that women experienced more pain than men during root canal treatment. And numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that women are at higher risk for many clinical pain conditions.
Additional reasons have been suggested for the sex differences in pain sensitivity:
- Women may seek treatment more readily than men when they have a physical problem.
- Men have been socialized to be more stoic, with some societies regarding pain endurance as a sign of virility.
- Differences in sex hormones, particularly estrogen.
- Differences in the structure and function of the nervous system.
Also, allegations that some pain experienced by female patients is psychosomatic could be because many recurrent female pain disorders are of unknown origin, says Dr. Dao. She suggests that care givers should treat patients for pain on an individual basis, taking into account both physical and social factors.
At Joseph R. Nemeth DDS & Associates, we try to make your dental treatment as painless and comfortable as possible. For people who fear going to the dentist, we offer conscious dental sedation which allows the patient to relax while the doctors perform the work they need to get done. Dental sedation techniques include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation.
If you have missing teeth or gum disease and are in need of a periodontist who can replace your missing teeth or treat your gum disease in the metro-Detroit area, our periodontal and dental implant specialists can help!