Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Specialists in Dental Implants
Is Your TMD Affecting Your Memory?
Posted on 11/9/2020 by Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
The temporomandibular joint is one of the most complex joints in your body. It is a sliding hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. It enables your jaw to move up and down, side to side and back to front. So how can this mysterious joint with its strange name affect your memory?
How the Temporomandibular Joint Can Affect Your Memory?
Because of the temporomandibular joint's location in your head, it can affect blood vessel and nerves that feed directly into your brain. One of these is the trigeminal nerve which is known to be a trigger point for migraine headaches. If your TMJ becomes inflamed, it can irritate the trigeminal nerve and trigger a migraine. Something else that can cause a different kind of headache, is when the jaw muscles become tense and this tension is transmitted to other muscles which they work with causing a tension headache which is the most common kind of headache. For decades, health professionals have realised that chronic pain can cause memory problems. Unrelenting pain can overwhelm brain regions that work to create memories
What Can Cause TMJ Disorder and What to do About it
TMJ can be caused by accidental damage such as a blow to the jaw or it may be caused by arthritis in the joint. If your teeth are misaligned, your jaw may have to chew in an awkward movement causing a larger than normal impact when chewing. Stress can cause TMJ, especially if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth. Overuse of the jaw can cause the joint to become inflamed and this is particularly likely if you frequently chew gum.
If your TMJ disorder causes you so much pain that it interferes with your memory, it is certainly time to come and see us. We may be able to relax your jaw muscles with electric muscle massages. Application of the correct medication may be able to calm things down. It may be that your bite has become misaligned which we can correct, or it may be that we need to use surgery to put things back to how they should be.