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TMJ Pain: The Mind-Body Connection

Living with chronic pain can be an overwhelming and debilitating experience. One particular condition that often causes distress is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, also known as TMJ Disorder or TMJ Dysfunction (TMD). While TMJ pain is traditionally associated with physical factors like jaw misalignment or dental issues, there is an expanding body of evidence indicating that the underlying cause of TMJ pain lies in learned neural pathways within the brain.


The temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge connecting your jawbone to the skull. TMJ pain is characterized by discomfort or pain in this joint and the surrounding muscles, resulting in difficulty in opening and closing the mouth, chewing, and even speaking. I spent years as a dentist attempting to treat chronic TMJ pain with orthodontic interventions, medications, or physical therapy. However, evidence shows that the root cause of TMJ pain is learned neural pathways in the brain. Thankfully Pain Reprocessing Therapy can provide relief by deactivating the pain signals.


Pain is a complex phenomenon, influenced by multiple factors including physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects. There is an intricate relationship between our mental and emotional states and our physical well-being. Research has shown that emotional stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological factors can exacerbate pain symptoms.


Stress is a common trigger for TMJ pain. When we experience stress, our bodies respond by tensing up, and this tension often manifests in the jaw, leading to clenching or grinding of teeth and jaw pain. Additionally, the emotional stress associated with being in persistent pain can create a vicious cycle, where pain leads to more stress, which in turn intensifies pain.


Central sensitization is a phenomenon in which the central nervous system becomes more sensitive to pain signals, amplifying the perception of pain. Chronic pain conditions like TMJ pain can trigger central sensitization, making the pain experience more intense and persistent.


With my background as both a dentist and a certified Pain Reprocessing Therapy coach, I bring a unique perspective and expertise to help individuals suffering from chronic TMJ pain. By combining my dental knowledge with the holistic approach of Pain Reprocessing Therapy, I can offer comprehensive guidance and support in healing this condition. Through personalized treatment and compassionate care, I am dedicated to helping individuals find relief and regain control over their lives.


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