Gender Differences in the Growing, Abnormal, and Aging Jaw

Despite wide variations in the size and shape of the human face, head, and body, there is remarkable consistency for quantifiable gender-specific facial traits. The relationships between the growing jaws and tooth eruption are complex, but they show gender-specific trajectories in children and adolescents. Disturbances in genetic, endocrine, and nutritional regulatory controls result in gender-specific and nonspecific disorders. Gender-specific differences are also apparent in the aging jaw, with the acceleration of jawbone atrophy upon loss of teeth, especially in women.

Key points

  • Craniofacial anomalies are among the most common congenital defects, and the prevalences often show gender differences.

  • Gender dimorphism is demonstrated in many of the craniofacial bones along with the gender-specific growth trajectories of the craniofacial bones that are especially notable for the maxilla and mandible.

  • Consideration of jaw growth influences by tooth eruption at different ages for girls and boys as well as other gender differences, such as variations in the number of teeth, the presence of palatal tori, and other factors contributing to patterns of malocclusion, are aids to clinicians in diagnosis and treatment planning.

  • Facial aging in dentate patients is characterized by retrusion of the midface in relation to the lower face. With edentulism, there is a gender-specific age-related loss of height in both jaws, a greater loss of ridge height and mandibular bone mineral content in women, and an increase in cortical bone mineral content in men that may reflect a gender-specific functional adaptation.

  • Systemic osteoporosis, which is more prevalent in women than men, is correlated with some measurements in the jaws, but radiographs are not approved for the diagnosis of osteoporosis.

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Oct 29, 2016 | Posted by in General Dentistry | Comments Off on Gender Differences in the Growing, Abnormal, and Aging Jaw
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