Can TMJ Cause Brain Fog?
If you have TMJ and you think it is affecting your mental clarity, come to Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For more information, contact us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/ Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
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In many cases, when a person refers to TMJ, they are actually referring to dysfunction of this joint. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most powerful and protean joints in the human body, and because of its place in the head, can cause symptoms in this area when dysfunctional or damaged. Because a disorder of the TMJ can affect sleep, the resulting lack of sleep can lead to a number of problems, including reduced mental clarity, slower reaction times, and difficulty concentrating.
Yes, TMJ disorder can affect brain function. The reasons are quite complex as there are several steps involved, but it starts with an imbalanced jaw placing stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This also tightens and fatigues the muscles in the neck and shoulders. When your jaw, or surrounding areas, are out of alignment, the brain becomes highly involved in trying to maintain equilibrium and will compensate accordingly. While the nerves around the joint send and receive inaccurate messages about jaw position, pain locations, and pain levels, the muscles fight to keep your jaw balanced. These inaccurate signals come at a cognitive cost, leading to brain fog and cognitive impairment.
Yes, TMJ disorder can affect your memory. TMJ disorder affects the body in a similar way to how chronic pain does, which can lead to several cognitive impairments, including shortened attention span, difficulty concentrating, and reduction in mental clarity.
Yes, TMJ dysfunction can make it hard to focus; this is due to a number of different reasons. First, TMJ disorder can cause pain and limited range of motion in the jaw joint—this can be very distracting from day-to-day activities, disturbing one’s focus and overtaking attention. Second, TMJ disorder can lead to sleep problems; this lack of sleep can cause brain fog, making it hard to focus on everyday tasks.
Like all conditions, diseases and injuries, there are different levels of severity, each level corresponding to a certain set or duration of symptoms. Fortunately, in most cases TMJ disorder is mild and does not cause crippling symptoms, but there are also cases on the opposite end of the spectrum. The most severe TMJ disorders typically require surgery or other interventional measures, and may cause extreme pain, limited or no range of motion/mobility, inability to open/close jaw, headaches and migraines. Mild or moderate cases of TMJ disorder may be considered severe or even life-threatening if any of the following symptoms occur alongside the condition:
– High fever (over 104º)
– Rash, especially if it covers large areas of skin
– Severe pain
It is imperative to schedule an appointment with a TMJ specialist as soon as possible when experiencing any of the following symptoms in relation to TMJ disorder:
– Facial, jaw, or ear pain
– Pain in the neck and shoulders
– Popping, clicking, or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth
– Jaw locking open or shut
– Pain when talking, chewing, or yawning
– Hearing loss or tinnitus
– Muscle spasms
– Difficulty chewing or biting
– Difficulty opening your mouth all the way
If you or someone you love is experiencing brain fog as a result of TMJ disorder, trust the sleep specialists at Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders to help you find relief. We serve patients from all across the United States, and currently have seven locations: one in El Paso, TX; one in Wausau, WI; one in Kansas City, MO; one in Mishawaka, IN; one in Bloomington, IL; and one in Peoria – Dunlap, IL. Schedule an appointment at any of our locations today to receive top-level care from experienced TMJ disorder specialists. We look forward to serving you!