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Do TMJ Problems Affect Your Memory?
Posted on 9/30/2018 by Marc Rosenthal, DMD, MD
Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD causes mild to severe pain in the jawbone muscles. The symptoms of this condition can be very uncomfortable and even painful for someone experiencing them, especially when eating or chewing. Things that you take for granted, like yawning or opening your mouth to laugh, can hurt.
What Causes TMJ?
If you feel clicking or popping when you open your mouth, you could be suffering from TMJ. It is unclear what causes this condition, but some studies suggest that chewing gum or other hard objects regularly could be a cause. Many experts also believe that a problem with the bite alignment is an underlying cause of TMJ and habits such as chewing gum can exacerbate your TMJ.
Stress and anxiety are also likely causes of bruxism, the grinding, and clenching of the jaw, which can result in TMJ because of the pressure this tightness places on the joints on either side of your face, by the ears.
How Can TMJ Impact Your Memory?
Perhaps it is not the actual condition that can impact your memory, but the pain associated with TMJ can affect how effectively your mind works. There is ample evidence that chronic pain is linked to memory problems.
It makes sense to think that if someone is always in pain, their judgment and reasoning can be affected. It can be depressing to wake up each morning and feel pain. Moreover, a group of Portuguese researchers published a study that seems to confirm these suspicions. They concluded that chronic pain could interrupt the way in which the different regions in the brain work together to keep short-term memory.
With this knowledge, it is imperative to identify the reasons for your TMJ as soon as possible. Call us today for a free evaluation and consultation. We can offer you effective treatment options for TMJ.