Journal of oral rehabilitation vol:29 issue:11 pages:1042-51
In order to better objectify reported pain and disturbed sensation, psychophysical parameters as pressure pain threshold (PPT) and tactile threshold (TT) have been introduced in pain research. The present study evaluated fluctuations of these parameters, obtained using an algometer (PPT) and von Frey hairs (TT), in relation to fluctuations in female reproductive hormones. Ten students not using oral contraceptives and eight students using oral contraceptives participated in the study. In addition, seven male students served as a control group. During two menstrual cycles, the PPT and TT of the masseter and temporalis muscles, as well as from the hand, were obtained twice per week. At the end of the study the values were evaluated in relation to the different phases of the menstrual cycle, by means of a linear mixed model. The TT appeared very reproducible within subjects and did not fluctuate over time. Scores on the left temporalis muscle appeared significantly higher than that on the right side. In all subjects the PPT tended to be higher on the left side, while in students using oral contraceptives, the PPT values of the temporalis muscle were significantly higher in the menstrual phase, and lower in the follicular phase. A significant correlation between the PPT of the temporalis muscle and the TT of the overlying skin was observed.