What is Brain Fog? First, what is it not? It is not a specific medical disease or condition. There are no objective examination criteria that might establish a medical diagnosis. There are no laboratory tests to identify it as a specific medical entity. It is not Alzheimer’s, dementia, or a senior moment of “where did I leave my car keys”.
Yet it seems to be creeping in around the edges in patient descriptions effecting various amounts of time in which cognitive function seems lessened over the normal state of affairs. It carries a description that is different with different people, very subjective. Probably best described as “slow or sluggish thinking”. Of interest is that brain fog is listed in the popular press as one of the results of Long Covid-19. It is also commonly thought to be the product of sleep changes, stress and medications.
Using as my source the book noted below***, the case has been made that it is an outcome of the extremely complex interactions of the hormones secreted by the pituitary, adrenal and hypothalamus glands. These three glands comprise the major “movers and shakers” of the regulatory mechanisms of our body. The pathways in which they are intertwined, like most bodily functions, are understood up to a point with always new frontiers to reach in order to gain understanding at the next level. Nothing is understood completely. This holds for even the knowledge base for tooth decay. As a category, these glands and their hormones could be described as “The Great Disruptors”. Not much misses their grasp.
Dentistry is involved because we now deal in the diagnosis of mouth impairments that address problems interacting with this soup of hormones.
1.We start with identifying the features of the mouth that did not develop in the growth patterns as what was designed to be our genetic potential, ie, small jaws, crowded teeth, bad bites, poor tongue position and function, highly vaulted roofs of the mouth exerting influence on the “attic” above it, our nose. If you add all this up, we find dentistry immediately involved in the sleep and wellness arena.
2. The extension of this finding of jaw underdevelopment constitutes being able to do something about it. In dentistry, we are now capable of stimulating further growth of the jaw bones to help compensate for the deficiencies of the past. “Form and function” is a commonly referred to relationship in many areas of the physical world, and nowhere could you find it more applicable than the mouth, bite, nose, tongue, teeth, jaw joint, jaw muscle, airway complex.
Stay tuned for further Blogs into this arena of newly found territory for dental science.
*** Central Nervous System Disruptions and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, by Michael Lam, M.D., MPH