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TMJ Disorder

Austin TMJ Specialist - Dr. Tor Gotun - Best Options for TMJ Disorder Therapy in West Lake Hills, TX

When chronic headaches, tinnitus and facial pain occur, you may consider heading to your family physician’s office, but a trip to the dentist may be the more appropriate choice. If clicking and popping in the jaw are also symptoms, you likely have a condition called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. 

Dr. Tor Gotun at Austin Smile Creations has extensive training, which he constantly updates, as well as thirty years of experience in this area. In fact, he is one of the best neuromuscular dentists in the field. Austin Smile Creations is proud to bring cutting-edge technology that will help Dr. Gotun treat TMJ disorder with Low Level Laser Therapy, or LLLT. It is completely non-invasive, painless, extremely effective and Dr. Gotun owns the only Low Level Laser in Austin. We are proud that often we can help patients feel better immediately as well as help them in cases when their jaw is locked and they have ringing in the ear. Call us today so we can help you!


TMJ Dysfunction Causes and Symptoms

TMJ Dentist in Austin TX - Oral Appliances

A condition affecting the jaw joints and the surrounding facial muscles, TMJ disorder, also called TMJ dysfunction and TMD, can stem from a number of possible causes. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) most often originates as a neuromuscular problem. It can occur as a result of dislocation or injury, genetic discrepancies, and sometimes it can be linked to arthritis. Often, TMD is associated with stress.

Stress, which causes you to grind and clench your teeth, can place pressure on the TMJs. This tightening of the facial muscles most often occurs during sleep, but can also happen during the day and place a continuous strain on the jaws. Damage to the temporomandibular joints, such as that sustained from a blow to the face, disk erosion, or cartilage wear from arthritis, can also cause improper functioning of the jaw. Likewise, a misaligned bite can place undue strain on the jaw joints and make everyday oral functioning difficult and painful. 

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder:

  • Tenderness of the jaw and jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in and around the ears
  • Chronic headaches
  • Clicking or popping noise when you open your mouth or yawn

Symptoms vary from person to person. Other combinations of symptoms include muscle spasms, fractured or loose teeth, ringing in the ears, difficulty swallowing, earaches, and the inability to chew, bite or open your mouth.

How We Approach the Treatment

Dr. Gotun utilizes splint and laser therapy, using different splints that serve specific purposes to address problems that manifest themselves due to the way the teeth come in contact with each other.  Laser therapy works to instantly reduce inflammation, reduce pain and discomfort and alleviates many other TMJ disorder symptoms. There are many possible causes of such imbalances, and some of them can be partly or completely corrected. To do this, we use splint therapy of different levels. A splint is a highly accurate therapeutic plastic mouthguard specifically designed for you to restore a resting balance of the muscles in the masticatory system with the precision within 5/10,000“. The splint treatment often is followed by an equilibration (grinding of the surface of the teeth where needed to correct the imbalance) or by rebuilding the teeth with crowns, or both.

The good news is that no matter the mildness or severity of TMJ disorder conditions, there may be ways to approach the problem and achieve a positive result. If you suspect you have a TMJ disorder, or have been given a diagnosis that you do, the sooner you make the decision to do something about it, the more likely you will be to achieve a favorable outcome. The keys to success are a comprehensive approach to treatment and full cooperation and commitment from the patient. The right combination of treatment options, addressing contributing factors, and changes in one’s lifestyle can do miracles for even the most seemingly hopeless conditions.             

Relief for TMJ Disorder in Austin, TX

Dr. Gotun is well known for his expertise in TMD treatments, and there is no doubt that choosing our practice to help you is a great first step. We have the knowledge, expertise and experience in helping cases like yours. Dr. Tor Gotun is one of fewer than 200 dentists in North America to receive the Lifelong Learning & Service Recognition award from the Academy of General Dentistry and is dedicated to providing the most advanced treatments for TMJ disorder in Austin. If you suspect you have the condition, contact us at Austin Smile Creations as soon as possible to schedule your appointment.






Dr. Gotun's approach to my TMJ problem went beyond the dental norm. He looked at it at a head problem first, looking at all possibilities. Other dentists wanted to break my jaw. He finally decided on a slow alignment approach. He even sent me to a chiropractor first, just to rule out spinal problems.
5 / 5 stars