Age and gender differences in mechanically induced intraoral temporal summation and conditioned pain modulation in healthy subjects

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The aim of this study was to investigate intraoral temporal summation (TS) and conditioned pain modulation (CPM) and compare the outcome with TS and CPM induced in the forearm. In addition, we aimed to study the effect of age and gender on intraoral and forearm TS and CPM.

Study Design.

Mechanical stimulation was induced with # 5.46 von Frey filament applying 26 grams of force. A single stimulus, followed by a train of 30 successive stimuli, was applied intraorally and to the dominant forearm. CPM was assessed with the TS test as the painful stimulus and with immersion of the nondominant hand in a hot water bath as the conditioning stimulus.


Gender was significantly associated with TS but not with CPM measures. Females had significantly lower mean TS measured in the face and in the dominant forearm compared with males. Age was significantly associated with CPM, but not with TS measures. In both sites examined, older patients had significantly lower mean CPM compared with younger patients.


Mechanical TM elicited in the oral cavity can be used as test stimulus for CPM testing. Intraoral modulation, both TS and CPM, has an extent similar to that of the standard cutaneous extremity. TS was lower in females, and CPM was reduced with age.

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