TMJ Cases

Changing Lives By Changing Smiles

TMJ not only affects how your smile feels and performs but also how it looks. Through compassionate and detailed treatment, Orinda dentist Dr. Santucci is able to provide guests with life-changing TMJ relief and beautiful smile makeovers in the process. Read about our guests’ experiences in these dental testimonials from Orinda area residents.


Dental Testimonials for Orinda dentist Dr. Santucci - Laura

“I want to start by saying that my experience with Dr. Santucci has been literally UNBELIEVABLE!
From a young age as far back as I can remember I’ve always had a clicking noise in my jaw whenever I ate, laughed, or even yawned. Growing up I thought it was a normal thing what I was experiencing. As years passed my condition worsened and there were times when my jaw would lock in place and through maneuvers I would always get it back to what I considered “normal”.

In my adult life my condition worsened even more, I started to get small headaches in the beginning. It got to a point where I went to see dentist after dentist and all I was given was pain meds (as strong as vicodin at times) but never was I given a solution to my problem. By early 2016 my jaw pain had gotten to the point where I could no longer chew even semi hard food and couldn’t open my jaw more than 2 inches without feeling severe pain, by then my headaches were unbearable and I felt at my end. I was referred to the “best of the best” as I was told by my dentist , the TMJ specialists at UCSF. Same result- pain medications and therapy which again ended withe same result = PAIN.

Just when I thought I was at my breaking point and was considering “alternative” treatments my employer recommended me to her dentist- Dr. Santucci! From the moment I walked into his office his smile and welcoming demeanor made me feel at ease. I won’t lie when I say that when I explained my problems to him and he said he knew exactly what my problem was and what the treatments were going to be to RELIEVE me of problems- I didn’t believe him! But lo and behold after deciding to give him and myself a chance, my pain started to go away without pain medication. Session after session my condition got better and better and everything was turning around for me. I was now able to eat without pain, yawn and laugh without pain.

Dr. Santucci has been nothing less than what he promised he would be- a solution! That may not mean much to some but it’s something I never had when it came to my condition and that’s all a patient really wants. Thank you Dr. Santucci! You have been a Godsend! Thanks to him I now live what I consider a normal life and I can’t thank him enough what he has done for me.”


woman suffering from TMJ rejoices over being healed

When I first met Dr. Santucci, my head, neck and upper back muscles were blasted as a result of my jaw issues. Because the muscles were continuously under strain, they would frequently go into spasm to the point that I was unable to turn my head for days at a time.

What impressed me the most was how Dr. Santucci very logically and scientifically figured out the root cause of the pain, and therefore how to relieve it. Using instruments to measure my muscles’ energy output in various positions, he was able to quickly identify the most relaxed position for my jaw and create an orthotic to keep my jaw in that position. After three weeks with the orthotic, the pain was completely gone. Needless to say, absence of pain leads to better quality of life.

Dr. Santucci has been attentive and his office is well-run and responsive. He even responded to me when I damaged my orthotic over the weekend while he was on vacation. This level of service is hard to come by.

I will still need orthodontics so that I don’t need to wear the orthotic forever, but in the meantime, many thanks to Dr. Santucci and his team for their support and for making the pain go away.


“I’ve had terrible pain in my jaw and teeth for years. I’ve suffered with chronic headaches and neck pain for as long as I could remember. I was taking ibuprofen by the handful just to get through the day. I went to see Dr. Santucci and he said the magic words, ‘I can get you out of pain.’ Within a month I was pain free. It has been 2 1/2 years, I have been pain free and I no longer need ibuprofen. Seeing Dr. Santucci and his staff was always a pleasure. Thank you Dr. Santucci for helping me and changing my life!”

–Tracy D. (No Photo)

“If Dr. Santucci had chosen another career, it could only be as a super-hero. He is so much more than a dentist, bridging dentistry and general health. After all, ‘the jaw and skull are the top of the spine, which is the core of our whole body.’ Of course! If we experience trauma or mal-development in our jaw, it affects our whole body.
Dr. Santucci drastically improved the quality of my life in three ways. First, while on an emergency trip, he personally returned my call so he could assess my level of pain while I waited for his return, and I hadn’t even met him yet! At this appointment, he took the time to get to know me, and answered my questions about grinding teeth and the extreme neck pain I was experiencing, and gave me a new understanding of bone structure and its connection to general health.

This conversation led to my second life-altering experience, the repair of my bite, which was causing muscular pain in my shoulder area and skeletal pain in my spine. Dr. S used computer technology to align my lower jaw to the upper. After a series of fascinating and relaxing appointments, I received an Orthotic for my lower jaw. By the NEXT morning, my skeletal neck pain and muscular shoulder pain was alleviated, and by the end of the first week, my lower back pain was gone. Also, my snoring decreased dramatically, which made my husband very happy, too!

The snoring was linked to mild sleep apnea, and since I didn’t qualify for a breathing machine, Dr. Santucci fitted me for a Sleep Apnea Appliance to wear at night. Not only did my snoring disappear, but after the first night, I woke feeling truly rested for, well, the first time ever. During the second week, I even had a dream of taking a slow, deep breath and feeling so pleased!

A description of “services received” would be incomplete without mentioning the fabulous, patient, cheerful and professional office staff. When you arrive at your first visit, you feel as if you’ve become part of a family, and indeed you have. You know this to be true because on the day of your last visit, you are sad to leave. And really, have you ever heard someone say they are excited to go to the dentist, and sorry when it’s over?”

–Joanne (No Photo)

An actual TMJ patient, who was unable to sleep from jaw pain until Dr. Santucci helped her

“I came to Dr. Santucci after being with my previous dentist for over 20 years.  At the time of my first visit, I was experiencing pain that was not addressed by my previous dental office.  I was on several types of medication to cope with the pain and to be able to sleep through the night. I had been to see various doctors that recommended different medical tests but still my diagnosis was unknown.

I knew during my first visit that I had made the right choice.  After I completed a diagnostic assessment, Dr. Santucci patiently explained my results, the areas that needed immediate attention and the plan for progress.  Through a series of several sessions, Dr. Santucci relieved many symptoms that I was experiencing due to bite issues.

Dr. Santucci is not an advocate of the short-term “slap a bandage on the issue” approach.  His philosophy is about finding a long-term solution, not temporary fixes.

I am so grateful that Dr. Santucci was able to stabilize my bite.  This seemingly small issue was the root of many of my other issues and getting that addressed has really improved my quality of life.

I highly recommend Dr. Santucci and his entire staff.  The level of service they offer is excellent.  I have also seen them for dental procedures (crown restoration, fillings and aesthetic teeth straightening) and my experience has always been consistent.  They really go out of their way to make sure that each of your visits are comfortable and as stress-free as dental work can be. ”


Walnut Creek Dentist

“After multiple rounds of braces and retainers over my formative years, I thought that my mouth troubles were resolved for life. However, over time I found myself waking up in a clouded migraine state, with a sore jaw and neck. I soon learned that this pain was from clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth whenever I went to sleep. I visited my standard dentist, who fitted me for a new mouth guard to try to protect my teeth. The problem didn’t rectify, and in fact, actually worsened. When I went to see Dr. Santucci, I was eagerly searching for an escape from the consistent pain that plagued me. I was scared to fall asleep at night knowing I would further damage my teeth. His practice of Neuromuscular Dentistry had the solution. I was fitted for a custom orthotic that helped regulate my jaw so that I could bite down properly. Not only did I get immediate relief from the pain, but I also now wake up every morning more well-rested than ever. With the numerous health afflictions that we all deal with, it’s great to see that there really are solutions out there that can unequivocally work. I’ve had so much success that my mom and sister now have their own custom orthotics as well!”


Dental Testimonials for Orinda dentist Dr. Santucci - Lisa

“I suffered from chronic migraines for most of my adulthood and was resigned to the fact that this was just part of my life. Dr. Santucci heard about my situation and suggested that he could help. Dr. Santucci made a custom Neuromuscular orthotic for me and after just one appointment my headaches disappeared. I don’t want to sound too dramatic but he has changed my life. Anyone who suffers with chronic migraines knows how exhausting and frustrating it is. Having the confidence that my day will not be interrupted by a debilitating headache is amazing.
Dr. Santucci is much more than your typical dentist. He is dedicated to high quality treatment and customer service and is constantly seeking out new methods and advancements to bring to his practice. I recommend him and his amazing staff to everyone I know.”


Due to a jaw injury as a teen, I have struggled with jaw pain for a long time. Various attempts to improve have included night guards, adult orthodontics and chiropractic work. Although these solutions would help temporarily, they never got to the root cause of the problem and the pain eventually came back. In desperation, I searched the internet for dentists in the Bay Area that specialized in TMJ and jaw injuries.

I was so happy that I found Dr. Santucci! He and his staff were friendly, knowledgeable and supportive from the first day. I learned a lot about how the jaw muscles work and why the other solutions never produced sustainable results. Dr. Santucci was patient and determined to make sure that my orthotic worked perfectly. I am now pain free and hopeful that at last I found a permanent solution. Thank you, Dr. Santuuci and team!

Susyn (No Photo)



“I have had the pleasure of knowing Jess Santucci for over 15 years. He is a remarkable man, a caring dentist, and a good friend. My teeth and gums are healthy and beautiful and it’s because of the quality of attention and care provided by Jess and his team. I suffered for many years with daily head and neck aches. I had no idea of the cause and took daily doses of Advil to relieve the pain. Just through casual conversation with Jess, he was convinced that the source of my problem was that my bite was off. He also felt that this was the reason that I was grinding my teeth. We began the process to correct my bite and I now have a very comfortable jaw and the constant pain is gone. This has had such an amazing impact on my life. During the process, I was in the office to see Jess every 2-3 weeks for adjustments. It may sound crazy, but I always looked forward to my appointments! Everyone there is so happy, and friendly, and I have always enjoyed my visits. I no longer have the need for the same frequency of visits, which is great, but I really miss seeing them all.”



“My 13 year old daughter, Sophia was diagnosed with Tourettes when she was 10 years old. Over the past three years not only has Sophia suffered social embarrassment with her outward tics but accompanying the Tourettes were chronic headaches 2 to 3 times a week along with, very brutal in nature, night terrors that occurred almost nightly. These afflictions caused severe fatigue and anxiety which in turn escalated the Tourettes.

Once Sophia became Dr. Santucci’s patient I can honestly say we had a break through in her everyday life. Dr. Santucci fitted Sophia with a custom orthotic and in the last 2 months Sophia’s headaches and night terrors are nonexistent. Because she is rested I can see that her tics have minimized as well.

The orthotic Dr. Santucci constructed for my daughter has been a major health benefit for her well being and a huge factor in her self confidence for a 13 year old girl.

I can not thank Dr. Santucci enough for taking care of Sophia with his patience, genuine compassion, attention to detail and follow-up. Your care has cured my daughter of her debilitating symptoms.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

–Sophia’s Mom

Dental Testimonials for Orinda dentist Dr. Santucci - Ashley

“I had braces when I was in high school, but after I got them off, over the years I became aware of discomfort that I was experiencing in my bite. The symptoms that I described to Dr. Santucci were clicking in my jaw joint; water sensations in my ear, and my neck and shoulders were constantly tight. Dr. Santucci explained to me exactly how all of my symptoms could be coming from my bite. Dr. Santucci introduced me to Neuromuscular Dentistry. Now I sleep more sound at night, I no longer feel the tension in my neck and back, I have no feeling of water in my ear, the clicking does not happen when I open and close my bite, I stand up straighter, I’m not grinding down my teeth, and the greatest part of all is how comfortable my bite is with my orthotic. I never knew how uncomfortable my mouth and bite was until Dr. Santucci introduced an orthotic into my life. It has literally changed my life. Thank you Dr. Santucci for taking such great care of me!”


“I was diagnosed with moderate Sleep Apnea by participating in an all-night comprehensive sleep study. Over an 8 hour sleep cycle I averaged 27 Apnea episodes per hour. I wasn’t sleeping well and felt tired throughout the day. The Doctor recommended that I wear a CPAP mask to assist with my breathing throughout the night. I discussed the results and alternative treatments with my Dentist, Dr. Jess Santucci and we decided to try a Neuromuscular Orthotic in lieu of the CPAP pressurized mask. He had success with other patients in treating their apnea and thought I would be a good candidate. After a month of wearing the Orthotic I participated in a second all-night sleep study. The results were impressive. Over an 8 hour sleep cycle I averaged only 3 Apnea episodes an hour which is well within the range of normal sleep behavior. In addition, I was sleeping through the night and had more energy during the day. I would highly recommend a Neuromuscular Orthotic for anyone who has Sleep Apnea.”

–John M. (no photo)

Actual patients provide dental testimonials for Orinda services they’ve received from Dr. Santucci.