Less invasive treatment therapies for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction sufferers in San Francisco

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction San Francisco - Oral appliance therapy is part of a comprehensive treatment program provided by Dr. Arellano in San Francisco

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ/TMD/TMJD) afflicts more than 10 million Americans, according to estimates from the National Institute of Dental and Cranial Research. TMJ/TMD/TMJD is a collection of disorders that affect the jaw and muscles that control jaw movement.


While most people experience jaw discomfort at some point in their lives, for TMJ/TMD/TMJD sufferers, the symptoms can impact their quality of life to the degree that even sleeping and eating become difficult. The chronic jaw ache and limited jaw function are not easily relieved through over-the-counter analgesics or pure rest.


Dr. Arellano diagnoses TMJ/TMD/TMJD through a battery of evaluations including dental x-rays, panoramic or CT scan radiographs that show the teeth and bone structure around the TMJ joint, and a comprehensive patient history to assess your specific symptoms.

We are here to help Call us at 415-881-4343 or Schedule an Appointment today


Treatment therapies for TMJ/TMD/TMJD can range from physical therapies to extreme surgical procedures to repair or replace your jaw. Today, TMJ/TMD/TMJD experts recommend that the best course of action is to begin with less invasive, more conservative methods. Dr. Leo Arellano is a San Francisco-area dentist expertly using innovative oral appliance devices to give relief to TMJ/TMD/TMJD sufferers.

There are several types of oral appliances to treat TMJ/TMD/TMJD. Repositioning splints work by moving the jaw into a new position that relieves pressure on the jaw joint. A second type, a stabilization splint, covers the upper or lower teeth and has a flat plate that helps keep patients from grinding their teeth (bruxism) and reduces sore jaw muscles. A third option is a modified splint that keeps the upper and lower jaws separated to prevent the back teeth from clenching and grinding against each other.

Self Care

Oral appliance therapy is part of a comprehensive treatment program provided by Dr. Arellano that also incorporates lifestyle adjustments to optimize effectiveness. This can include:

  • Avoid sleeping on your side, and use a pillow to support your shoulders and neck properly.
  • Therapeutic jaw exercises to loosen muscles and promote healing.
  • Moist heat using a warm towel or heat packs to reduce jaw joint pain.
  • Avoid cradling a telephone in your crook of your neck, which can exacerbate TMJ/TMD/TMJD.
  • Using your fist as a chin support when you yawn to prevent over flexing your jaw muscles.

To learn more about today’s treatments for TMJ/TMD/TMJD; contact Dr. Arellano at 415-881-4343.

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Addressing gum recession with gum grafting and the Pinhole® Surgical Technique

new procedure Pinhole Surgical Technique Before and After Paetient Learn More about Pinhole Surgical Technique
Patient Reviews
Image Of Dolores E

I've been going to Dr. Arellano for about 20 years and I continue because of the excellent care and treatment I get with him and his whole office team. He is both professional and personable.
Recently I had a newer technique of gum surgery/grafting at his office called, "Pinhole Surgical Technique of gum grafting." I personally found this to be much easier to handle than the other style of gum grafting that I received years ago for the other side of my mouth. That worked, it was where part of my roof of my mouth was cut and surgically sewn onto the gum. However, I much prefer the pinhole technique. It was actually the easiest dental work I've had (beyond regular cleaning.) It didn't take too long and it didn't feel uncomfortable getting it done. I was swollen, but I think that happens regardless of what kind of gum grafting is done. I needed ibuprofin for a few days, no major pain. It healed well and just felt easy. I am not a fan of having any work done in my mouth because that's me, but this was the easiest work I've ever had done.
So, if you are debating which kind of surgery to do I personally would recommend the pinhole surgery.

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Patient Reviews
Image Of Laura V

We've gone to Dr Arellano for many years and have never been disappointed with any of the work he's done. Recently my husband broke a tooth and Leo got him in and had the tooth repaired within a few short hours. Service like that is very hard to finds these days. His office staff is fantastic. Nice people you are always glad to see. I would highly recommend Dr Arellano to anyone who is searching for an honest, competent, well trained dentist.

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Patient Reviews
Image Of Steve G

I recently had a dental implant procedure performed by Dr. Arellano.
I could not be more pleased with the results. From the initial consultation to insertion of the implants, Dr. Arellano made this entire procedure understandable, easy, & pain-free !!
Highly recommend this professional dentist.

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