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How TMJ Affects Overall Wellness: A Comprehensive Guide by Dr. Mingus

Do you suffer from chronic headaches, jaw pain, or even earaches? If so, there’s a good chance you might have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). TMJ is a relatively common condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull. It can have a major impact on overall wellness and can be both mentally and physically exhausting.

In this comprehensive guide, Dr. Mingus will explain what TMJ is, what causes it, and how it can affect overall wellness. He’ll also provide some tips and suggestions for managing TMJ and how to improve overall wellness alongside with it.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is a commonly used term to describe problems or disorders of the temporomandibular joint and the muscles that control movement of the jaw. TMJ affects between 5% and 12% of the population, and it is most common in people between the ages of 20 and 50. However, it can affect individuals of all ages.

There are a range of symptoms of TMJ, including pain in the jaw or surrounding facial areas, limited movement of the jaw, joint noises (clicking or popping sounds), headaches, earaches or dizziness, and upper back and neck pain. Some individuals may even experience tinnitus (ringing in the ear) as a symptom of TMJ.

What Causes TMJ?

The root cause of TMJ is still not entirely clear, but there are several known factors which are thought to be associated with its development. In some cases, TMJ can be caused by trauma to the jaw or joint. This could be because of a direct blow to the jaw, or chronic jaw clenching or grinding.

The presence of diseases like arthritis, or malocclusions (improper contact between teeth) can also contribute to the development of TMJ. In some cases, TMJ has been found to be linked with stress and anxiety-related conditions, such as bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching).

How TMJ Affects Overall Wellness

TMJ can have a significant impact on both mental and physical wellness. The most obvious impact is the development of chronic pain and discomfort. In severe cases, pain and discomfort can be so severe that individuals may struggle to sleep. TMJ pain can also make it difficult to speak clearly or chew food properly, and this can make socializing and daily activities more challenging.

Chronic jaw pain, headaches, and poor sleep can have both physical and emotional effects. People with TMJ may feel more stressed, anxious, and irritable. Severe cases of TMJ can even contribute to the development of depression and difficulty concentrating.

Managing TMJ and Improving Overall Wellness

There are several ways to manage TMJ and help improve overall wellness. Dr. Mingus recommends first seeing a health professional to discuss and diagnose the disorder. This will help identify the underlying causes and determine the best treatment approaches.

Common treatments for TMJ include pain relievers to help reduce chronic pain and discomfort. Other treatments may involve dental splints or mouth guards to protect teeth, and physical therapy to help reduce muscle discomfort or improve joint movement. In some cases, more advanced treatments such as surgical repair may be necessary to address severe cases of TMJ.

Alongside treatments aimed at addressing the symptoms of TMJ, there are several ways to improve overall wellness. This may include techniques to reduce stress, such as meditation and deep breathing. Additionally, getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep can all contribute to overall wellness and may help reduce TMJ symptoms.


TMJ is a common condition that affects the temporomandibular joint and can contribute to a range of symptoms, including headaches, jaw pain, and even anxiety. Dr. Mingus recommends seeking out specific treatments to address the underlying causes of TMJ and finding ways to improve overall wellness. Taking time for self-care, such as relaxation techniques, exercise, and a healthy diet, can all contribute to reducing TMJ symptoms and improving overall wellness.