Doctor santucci outside the office in the middle of his two female patients standing while smiling and wearing black suits

TMJ Dentistry in Orinda, CA

By Dr. Jess Santucci.

Life Changing Treatment From Your Orinda Dentist

What Is TMJ?

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is located in your jaw. Occasionally, this joint can become inflamed and lead to severe headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, and other debilitating symptoms.

Dr. Jess SantucciLearn more about our dentist has the expertise and advanced knowledge to not only treat the symptoms of TMJ but identify the cause too. He has enjoyed years of extensive training and utilizes state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat TMJ disorders correctly.

How can Neuromuscular Dentistry Help?

Through the use of neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Santucci can treat problems associated with jaw misalignment and TMJ.

This area of dentistry focuses on the correlations between the functionality of the mouth and the rest of the body, including the nervous system, muscles, and circulatory system.

Only truly qualified neuromuscular dentists, like Dr. Santucci, have a definite understanding of this complex association and are able to offer relief to those suffering from pain and discomfort.

Why We Do What We Do

TMJ Pain Relief

Dr. Santucci has developed a non-invasive, effective approach to TMJ therapy. He uses his extensive training to find a resolution that meets your needs and produces long-lasting pain relief.

Our neuromuscular dentist uses a two-phased approach:

  • Phase 1 - Orthotic Treatment
    A TMJ appliance (much like a mouthguard) is worn to place your jaw in its correct physiological position.

    Once your pain and symptoms subside, you have the option of sticking with this orthotic treatment, or moving on to the next phase.

  • Phase 2 - Neuromuscular Orthodontics
    The object of this second phase is to keep your jaw in its correct physiological position without the need for an orthotic.

    Dr. Santucci investigates both the bone and muscles around the jaw. He then creates a custom treatment plan for full mouth rehabilitation. Using multiple cosmetic and restorative services, he can give you a balanced pain-free bite.

The Santucci Factor

Discover how our neuromuscular dentist in Orinda, CA can help you.


Dr. Santucci’s area of focus is neuromuscular dentistry and aesthetics.


Our TMJ dentist uses T-Scan technologyOpens a new window to the TekScan website to assess your bite.


There is no problem too big or too small. Dr. Santucci is here to help you find a solution to your jaw pain.

Sportsguards & Mouthguards
Protection for your teeth and rehab for your smile.

Mouthguards do more than just protect your teeth, they can actually help realign your entire body. Misalignment of the jaw through injury or teeth grinding can impact your skeletal alignment, which, in turn, can affect your sports performance and health. With our action guards, you can experience real protection while you perform at your best.

An older woman smiling on a gray background while wearing a green sweater with a gold necklace

Action Guards

An older woman smiling on a gray background while wearing a green sweater with a gold necklace

These neuromuscular mouthguards improve your jaw alignment, which can start a domino effect in your body. Once your jaw is aligned, you can experience postural alignment, increased strength, more flexibility, improved balance, and better oxygen flow. You’ll also receive full teeth and mouth protection, with the advantage of your best performance possible.


TMJ Testimonials

Read our success stories.
Luisa, one of our TMJ patients
“Dr. Santucci has been amazing! He listened to my concerns about recession and focused on correcting the root cause, rather than just the aesthetics. He explained the cause of all the pain I had been living with for years and the jaw clicking that I have now stopped noticing. Dr. Santucci informed me about Neuromuscular Dentistry and its focus on proper jaw posture to allow the joints to relax. After wearing the orthotic appliance, my headaches and my neck and back pain have decreased. I thank Dr. Santucci for his expertise and professionalism. I wake up feeling well rested, and I’m free of pain. I feel like a new person!”
Zach, one of our TMJ patients
“In 6 months, Dr. Santucci transformed my bite into a pain free experience and a beautiful smile. No more jaw pain, bone crunching, aches, or locked jaw. Not to mention, the Santucci team provides world-class patient care. Incredibly grateful!”
Dorothy, a female patient of Dr. Santucci smiling straight on, she has dark brown hair
“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.”

Ashley, a female patient of Dr. Santucci smiling straight on a background of green flowers, she has long blond hair
“I had braces when I was in high school, but after I got them off, over the years, I became aware of the 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 soundly 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!”

Our patient Laura, smiling while wearing a red shirt with glasses
“I want to start by saying that my experience with Dr. Santucci has been UNBELIEVABLE!
From a young age, I’ve always had a clicking noise in my jaw whenever I ate, laughed, or even yawned. Growing up I thought it was normal. 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 with 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, 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 semi-hard food and couldn’t open my jaw more than 2 inches. 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 with the 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. When I explained my problems to him and he said he knew exactly what my problem was and the ideal treatments to RELIEVE me of problems – I didn’t believe him! So after giving 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.

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!”

One of our patients smiling outside while wearing a blue dress with a necklace
“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, the absence of pain leads to a 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.”

Angelica is one of Dr. Santucci's patients. She wears a blue dress while smiling on a green background
“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 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.”

Andrea, a female patient of Dr. Santucci smiling while standing on a wall and wears a blue dress
“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 mouthguard 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!”

An elderly patient smiling outside the office while wearing a cap
My headaches and neck pain are gone. I now have this beautiful smile, but the best part is that I can eat whatever I want. This has been truly life changing! Thank you Dr Santucci.
Older lady with white teeth wearing a purple dress
I am utterly delighted with the results. Dr. Santucci is a perfectionist and will stop at nothing to make sure you are completely satisfied with the outcome. I have improved oral health, a natural, yet attractive smile, and most importantly, relief from the multiple symptoms I experienced related to my jaw misalignment.
Lisa, a patient of Dr. Santucci smiling while recharging in a tree
“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 from 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.”

Sofia is a 13 year old girl smiling in a park while recharging in a tree
Sophia’s Mom
“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.”

A young black haired woman patient smiling

“Having my new smile has been life changing. I hadn't smiled with my teeth in pictures in years, I laughed with my mouth closed, and I was very self conscienceabout my teeth. None of that is true now. I love my smile and I love smiling. I knew Jess was the right person for this and that I wouldn't go to anyone else. He (and his team) made me feel even more comfortable than I expected. I finally have the smile of my dreams and am so happy!”

Ashley Bloom

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