What is TMJ disorder and how can a dental practice in San Francisco, CA help with treatment?

TMJ disorder

At the practice of Dr. Leo Arellano, patients have access to many dental solutions to improve the health, beauty, and functionality of their smiles. San Francisco, CA families can work with him to determine if there are certain conditions at play that are damaging the natural teeth. A common concern is TMJ/TMD. Our team provides not only diagnosis of the condition but an effective treatment option.

TMJ/TMD explained

TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint.” TMD stands for “temporomandibular disorder.” The two terms are often used interchangeably, but this should not be the case. TMJ is referring to the joint itself and TMD is referring to the chronic problems associated with a dysfunction of the joint. This joint hinges the jaw, so it can open and close. When it becomes problematic, it can be painful. Patients with TMD may notice:

  • Excessive clenching and grinding of the teeth
  • Clicking and popping of the jaw joint
  • Locking of the joint in the open or closed position
  • Pain from the head, ears, jaw, neck, or shoulders

When patients are experiencing these issues, they can see Dr. Leo Arellano for a proper diagnosis. Problems with the TMJ are often determined with a medical history, information from the patient on symptoms, and with visible signs inside the mouth that may indicate a problem.

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

Treatment of TMD

For most patients, treatment of TMD can be achieved with oral appliances. Oral appliance therapy is a popular choice, as it is comfortable and effective. An oral appliance is a specialized mouth guard that is made to help keep the jaw aligned and reduce the common problems associated with the condition. It can also help protect the natural tooth enamel and restorations from bruxism which is often present as well. Bruxism is the clenching and grinding of the teeth that many patients do during the night without even being aware of it. This can ruin the teeth and cause damage that can be expensive and time consuming to repair. Patients are urged to visit with their dentist if they suspect conditions such as this to get immediate treatment.

Does the jaw need surgery?

Only in severe cases of TMD do patients need to consider the benefits of surgical intervention. This is rare, but in some situations, it may be the only way to address the problem. However, most of our patients fare well with oral appliance therapy as treatment.

Discuss TMD with a dentist in your area

Dr. Leo Arellano and his team proudly offer patients in the San Francisco, CA area solutions to many common dental concerns. If you are interested in learning more about TMJ/TMD and how it can be properly diagnosed and treated, we encourage you to contact us. Call 415-881-4343 to book an appointment and work with our team, conveniently located at 3030 Geary Boulevard.


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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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