Unending pain can make everyday life difficult in several ways. Besides causing unending discomfort, it can also make it hard for people to enjoy fulfilling professional and social lives. It’s almost impossible to do well at work when you are coping with unrelenting pain. Likewise, it’s very hard to enjoy social situations and meet relationship obligations, when pain is dominating your thoughts. Adding to these problems, new research indicates that constant pain may also have the ability to hamper our memories.

Interfering with Brain Function – TMJ and Brain Fog

For decades, health professionals have associated memory problems with chronic pain. Now, a new study out of Portugal appears to have shown the reason why. Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the research showed that chronic pain has the power to inhibit normal cognitive function by disrupting how our brain regions cooperate to store short-term memories.

To reach their findings, the researchers utilized rats to show that unrelenting pain can “overwhelm” important brain regions that work to create memories. In the end, this pain caused the rats to under-perform in mazes that demanded memory recall. When you can’t think clearly, many people call this sensation a brain fog. With this study, it shows that chronic pain can inhibit cognitive function which means TMJ can cause brain fog.

older man massaging his jaw due to pain

Can TMJ Cause Neurological Problems?

According to a recent study, TMJ can lead to several different neuromuscular and neurologic disorders such as Torticollis, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and balance or gait disorders. The study concluded that several patients suffering from neurological problems also suffered from TMJ issues. Treating TMD can help treat some of the symptoms from neurological disorders.

How it Applies to TMJ

TMJ disorder causes all sorts of chronic symptoms, such as facial tenderness, chewing difficulties, jaw clicking, and tinnitus. That said, this frustrating condition also causes chronic jaw pain and headaches that can significantly reduce the quality of a person’s life. This new research indicates that TMJ-related pain may have the ability to cause memory issues which could cause big problems. After all, forgetting where you put the television remote is one thing; forgetting critical details at work, on the other hand, could lead to unemployment.

Reaching Out

If TMJ disorder is having a negative impact on your life, now is the ideal time to throw off your proverbial shackles and reach out for help. Our Savannah dentists offer lasting relief from TMJ disorder by providing a treatment plan which addresses the source cause of the disorder: a bad bite. To learn more, contact our office today.