Austin TMJ Specialist - Dr. Tor Gotun
TMJ Disorder Therapy in West Lake Hills & Austin, 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!

Appointment  Contact Us


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.


  CitySearch 5-Star Review5-Stars





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


Read what people are saying about us.

read more


If you are reading this testimonial, I assume you are looking to alleviate pain in one or more of your teeth or to improve your smile cosmetically. Either way you can save yourself some time, stop right now and go make an initial evaluation appointment with Dr.Gotun and his staff at their cozy, comfortable office with a relaxing peaceful view of Eanes Creek. You can search the 1200 or more listings in the Austin area and the BEST you could hope for would be to find another dentist equally as skilled and talented as Dr.Gotun. I do NOT think it is possible to get BETTER quality dental work than what you will get at this office.

The one thing that made everything so simple for me was the photographs. During the initial exam Dr.Gotun takes a series of photographs of your teeth along with x-rays. You then get to see your teeth on a laptop screen, in color, up close and larger than life. If you can live with what you see then you can count your blessings and Dr.Gotun will let you be on your way, unless of course you would like to schedule a cleaning!

In my case I could see the damage, decay and buildup from many years of poor oral hygiene and neglect. In addition to the problem teeth that brought me to the dental office I could easily see that most of my teeth were in need of some type of restoration work. Dr. Gotun has my permission to show all of my records to anyone interested in seeing them. I am sure you will be as amazed as I still am at what Dr. Gotun was able to accomplish considering the very poor condition my teeth were in at the start of the process.

The cost was substantial in my case due to amount of work that was required. However, the work was spaced out over several years which made the cost much easier to budget. Dr.Gotun was not on my dental insurance plan, so I accessed some savings and my credit to finance the work and paid it off like any other significant asset I have purchased. My teeth are the most rewarding investment I have ever made.

If I could give anyone one bit of advice other than my story, it would be “do NOT let dental insurance be the major factor that guides your decision-making”. I was never happy with any of the experiences or results I had when I tried to use the dentists that were covered under my plan. I am proof that 12 years on with regular flossing and brushing, the investment in your restoration work done by Dr.Gotun can still be yielding satisfaction and compliments from friends and random strangers.

I have never gone to bed without flossing and brushing after seeing those photographs in my initial visit. Good luck and I hope to be reading your success story here sometime in the future.

Chuck M. Austin, TX

Dr. Tor Gotun probably saved my life and he's added some years to it. You don't usually say that about your dentist, but I believe it in my case.

More than 10 years ago, after many years of neglecting my teeth and an unhealthy life style, I went to Tor, my neighborhood dentist, even though he wasn't on my State of Texas dental insurance network.

I soon learned of the challenges to getting my gums and teeth back to a healthy status. The way Tor explained it, I knew it was complex and that Tor had the skills and vision to get me there, as long as I did my part. I also knew it would take time and not be cheap.

Now, years later, I still have most of my original teeth and only a few very nice, state-of-the art crowns. I am following Tor's advice for taking care of my teeth and gums, including his regular cleaning schedule. What my dental insurance didn't cover, I was able to use Austin Smile Creations' association with Care Credit to finance the costs without any interest charges as long as I pay off balances within a year of each charge.

By the way, we had only one procedure that didn't work out as planned, but Tor made good on it and the solution turned out as good or better.

As a bonus, all of Tor's top flight members are both professional and personable, always considerate of my needs, interests, and schedule.

Bottom line, Tor is better than my expectations. He pays attention to more than just how my mouth looks; he's concerned about my overall health and how my life-style affects, and is affected by, the health of my teeth and gums.

Bill H. Austin, TX

I have been going to Dr. Gotun since he used to have his practice on William Cannon Drive ( 20 years now). Now he is located in Bee Caves. He is an excellent dentist.

The thing I like best about Tor Gotun is he is relatively pain free when administering his shots to numb your mouth. Dentists I have had before always seemed to be a bit heavy handed in this activity.

He is very up to date with modern dental technology. He can make a crown or cap in his office at the moment of your appointment and have you leave with a fully functioning mouth. I have friends who use other dentists who must wander the city of Austin for at least a week with a hollowed out molar stuffed with gauze as they await their topping to arrive by mail to their dentist's office.

The staff is very friendly, and Dr. Gotun will never talk down to you. He is very good at explaining why he is doing something or why he wants to do a procedure. He may have gotten two of my wisdom teeth, but I will still try to hold onto the remaining two regardless of his explaining the safety factors of hanging on to them as you get older.

Randy S. Austin, TX

View More

Contact Us.We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form.

Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.