Specialized TMJ Chiropractor in Portland, OR

TMJ Disorder Treatment in Portland

Did you know your jaw is the most used joint in the human body?

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a collection of bones, muscles, and disc tissue that should work together to allow freedom of movement in the jaw. When you suffer from TMJ issues, these bones, muscles, and disc tissue aren’t working together properly. Instead, they pop or lock and may cause pain, discomfort, and a sleuth of symptoms.

At Premier Care Chiropractic in Portland, Oregon, we frequently treat patients dealing with TMJ dysfunction.

If you’re experiencing pain around the ear, frequent headaches, or pain while you’re eating, you might be suffering from TMJ disorder. Our providers use advanced chiropractic care and massage therapy for TMJ treatment and can provide patients with soft tissue work to do at home to enhance rehabilitation.

If you need chiropractic TMJ treatment in Portland, call Premier Care Chiropractic or book an appointment online to learn about our services.

We Specialize in Chiropractic TMJ Treatment in Portland

Premier Care Chiropractic, led by Dr. Tim Gallucci, provides expert TMJ treatment in Portland, plus treatment for injuries sustained in auto accidents and more. Dr. Gallucci and his providers utilize the multidisciplinary center to focus on injury treatment and recovery using a variety of modalities for relief and functionality. 

Dr. Gallucci is committed to guiding patients through their healing journey after trauma or injury. He focuses on alleviating pain quickly and getting you back to your everyday life as soon as possible. Schedule your appointment with Premier Care Chiropractic today.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

It is often unclear how TMJ disorder is caused, but it all boils down to excessive strain on the jaw joints and the muscle groups that control chewing, swallowing, and speech. For many, symptoms begin with no obvious reason. 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) classifies TMJ disorder in three ways. Each classification may have different causes. The NIDCR suggests a combination of genetics, psychological and life stressors, and how someone perceives pain may play a part in how TMJ disorder begins and how long it might last.

  • Myofascial pain – This is the most common form of TMJ disorder, resulting in discomfort or pain of the fascia and muscles that control the jaw, neck, and shoulder.
  • Internal derangement of the joint – This TMJ disorder classification refers to a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or injury to the condyle.
  • Degenerative joint disease – This includes osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.


Bruxism — the habitual and involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth — may play a role in TMJ disorder. Many studies suggest a strong relationship between TMJ disorder and bruxism, but the exact link remains hazy. 

Bruxism can occur while you are awake or asleep. Often, awake bruxism is related to psychosocial factors like stress, anxiety, or depression. You might notice that you have habits like:

  • Nail biting
  • Chewing on pencils
  • Jaw bracing
  • Tongue or cheek-biting

Sleep bruxism is thought to be related to micro-arousals during the sleep cycle. These reactivations of our brain that allow us to become more aware of our surroundings without actually waking us up may lead to bruxism.


Injury to the jaw, like a direct hit to the face, can cause damage to the jaw joints. 

Indirect jaw trauma, like whiplash or a blow to the head, may cause damage to both the jaw joints and skull. Any form of trauma or injury that impacts how you carry your head on the top of your neck has the potential to lead to jaw problems. 

Injuries could include:

  • A ball to the face
  • Being punched or elbowed in the jaw
  • Direct blows from car accidents or sports injuries
  • And more

TMJ disorder and trauma go beyond the physical trauma, though. Did you know that PTSD and TMJ disorder are closely linked? Those suffering from PTSD may have heightened symptoms of TMJ disorder with exacerbated pain, chronicity, and a decreased response to conventional therapies.


It is possible for osteoarthritis to develop in your TMJ due to natural wear-and-tear over the years, or as a result of an injury. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the TMJ, but rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and lupus are all associated with TMJ. 

As you age, the cartilage in your joints gradually breaks down. For your TMJ, this often manifests as:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty fully opening or closing your mouth 

How Is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?

TMJ disorder requires a team of specialists for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. For chiropractic TMJ treatment in Portland, Premier Care Chiropractic has a team of professionals who are skilled and knowledgeable to help. 

To properly diagnose TMJ, you might require:

  • A dental exam to show poor bite alignment
  • Feeling the joint and muscles for tenderness
  • Examining around the head for sensitive or painful areas
  • Watching, feeling, and listening to the jaw open and shut
  • Additional tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or Doppler test of the TMJ
portland chiropractic tmj treatment

Our Chiropractic TMJ Treatment Methods

Premier Care Chiropractic offers a variety of TMJ disorder treatments based on your unique condition. After examining you and running diagnostic tests, we will create a treatment plan that may include any of the following services.

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

This gentle approach to TMJ treatment utilizes a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to administer an electrical pulse that stimulates muscle contractions. 

Essentially, your TMJ and surrounding muscles are massaging themselves to relieve pain and stiffness while improving mobility in your jaw. 

Gentle Mobilization

With the use of traction, your provider can gently apply downward pressure on the molars and upward pressure on the inferior border of the jaw to distract the condyle down. 

Massage Therapy

Premier Care Chiropractic’s massage therapists use various techniques to complement chiropractic adjustments. Massage is a valuable tool to help with pain relief in and around the TMJ, but it also offers many more benefits:

  • Improves circulation in the facial muscles
  • Reduces headaches associated with jaw tension
  • Enhances overall jaw mobility
  • Mitigates stress that exacerbates TMJ disorder

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitative Exercises

Premier Care Chiropractic’s physical therapy program involves targeted exercises and equipment to help patients regain muscle strength and flexibility for those suffering from TMJ disorder. 

Your provider might offer exercises like:

  • Relaxed jaw
  • Goldfish (partial and full opening)
  • Chin tucks
  • Resisted opening/closing of the mouth
  • Side-to-side jaw movements
  • Forward jaw movement
  • And more

Read What Our Portland Chiropractic TMJ Treatment Patients Have to Say

chiropractic tmj treatment in portland

FAQs About TMJ Chiropractic Treatment

Yes, chiropractic treatment is considered safe and effective for TMJ when performed by a licensed and experienced chiropractor. At Premier Care Chiropractic, our practitioners prioritize patient safety and comfort, employing techniques tailored to individual needs. 

Seeking chiropractic TMJ treatment may help relieve your symptoms, enhance your jaw mobility and more. We conduct thorough assessments to ensure suitability for chiropractic care, and our team is committed to providing effective and risk-aware treatment options. With a combination of modalities from manual adjustments to soft tissue therapy, jaw exercises, and more, TMJ pain stemming from poor jaw alignment, stress, bruxism, or injury can improve.

If you have concerns or questions about chiropractic treatment for TMJ, schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable staff. Your health and well-being are our top priorities.

TMJ pain may be subtle to begin before you realize what might be happening. Depending on the severity of your TMJ disorder, you might think you can prolong treatment.

At Premier Care Chiropractic, we recommend visiting us as soon as you suspect you’re suffering from TMJ disorder. Even with minor symptoms, you could be doing more damage by avoiding or prolonging treatment.

By seeking treatment right away, we can properly diagnose you and create a unique TMJ treatment plan to help alleviate your symptoms as quickly as possible. 

If your TMJ disorder is a direct result of an auto accident, your TMJ chiropractic treatment is 100% covered, regardless of fault. Personal injury protection insurance, which is automatically included in all auto insurance policies for Oregon residents, pays medical expenses for those injured in car accidents.

Some of the PIP insurance we accept includes:

  • State Farm
  • Geico
  • USAA
  • Allstate
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Progressive
  • Safeco
  • Amica

At Premier Care Chiropractic, we address the underlying causes of symptoms and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder.

Our skilled chiropractors use techniques such as gentle alignment and mobilization of the jaw, muscle stimulation, and massage therapy to alleviate pressure, reduce muscle tension, and improve blood flow to the affected area.

Our Portland chiropractic clinic utilizes a comprehensive healing approach that may also include therapeutic exercises, recommended lifestyle modifications, and other therapies such as acupuncture to enhance the effectiveness of treatment.

The content in this blog should not be used in place of direct medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes.