Treating TMJ Patients for 13 Years

Dr Francis O Day treating TMJ patients

Practice remains dedicated to treating TMJ patients.

In 2006, I realized my medical dream to open a practice dedicated completely to treating TMJ patients. The colleagues in my dental circle, as well as, local medical physicians, were certainly encouraging.  I’m sure they were a bit skeptical that such a narrow focus could yield enough patients to truly keep a thriving practice. It’s now thirteen years, and the only thing I know for certain—freeing people from their TMJ pain (chronic headaches, migraines, neck pain, sinus pressure, ear fullness/pain, and jaw issues) continues to be the most satisfying work I have ever done.


  1. The stress in our daily lives has increased.
  2. The stress and pressure on our children at such a young age has increased. (Remember, TMJ does not discriminate by age).
  3. Finding time to relax has become disrupted by schedules, events and keeping up with our work lives.
  4. The time we can dedicate to our own wellness has taken a backseat as well.
  5. Insurances and coverages.

The five things above seem daunting.  We can help.  It is our duty to manage and educate you on your medical condition and treatment plan as a TMJ patient. We assist you in understanding your coverage and costs.  You need to be comfortable in making decisions about coming to see us for the first time or continuing treatment.

What has not changed?  I remain dedicated to my patients.  I’m always interested in helping new patients, getting them pain free.  To find out more about becoming a new patient, please visit our “Patient Area,” which has valuable information and paperwork you can download.

Thank you to all my colleagues, the surrounding medical community for all of their confidence and referrals, and to my patients for their trust and commitment.

The doctor will free you now.
Doctor Francis O’Day

The Auto Accident: New or Worsened TMJ Symptoms

New or worsened TMJ symptoms from auto accidents

Secondary auto accident pain can trigger TMJ symptoms.

It is pretty safe to say, we are all going to have (or have had) an auto accident at some point.  Whether it is the common fender-bender, or something more severe, we can agree that the health of all involved is the primary concern. Then—we get on that smart phone!  We call for emergency services, if it’s bad, as well as the police and insurance company. It’s a natural reaction. Auto accident pain does not always manifest immediately, and it’s not in direct correlation with the size or type of accident.  Be aware that TMJ symptoms have a strong correlation with all kinds of trauma, and when it comes to that of even a minor traffic accident, secondary pain can manifest suddenly and painfully.

I have been in a lot of consultations with new patients that, once we got into their recent history, discovered that an automobile accident initially triggered their TMJ symptoms.  Unfortunately, now that claim has been in the works—or worse—finished, they must now deal with the medical billing for me to free them of their pain, when it probably would have been covered as part of their claim.

Any kind of whiplash can be extremely detrimental to anyone who suffers from TMJ.  Symptoms can start days, weeks, or even a year after the accident. If you do suffer from TMJ symptoms, you need to be aware that the stress and impact can build a steady return to those ill-forming habits, depending on your time in treatment.  For those that have not had TMJ symptoms, whiplash can certainly lead to orofacial joint issues and pain. The trauma of the accident, however, can unknowingly lead to stress and actions that trigger the symptoms of TMJ.  This kind of trauma needs to be addressed, not just for insurance purposes, but for treatment purposes.


  1. Call emergency services—for sure.

  2. Report your insurance claim—that’s critical for property involved.

  3. If you are a TMJ sufferer (patient of mine or not), schedule an appointment, so it’s on record, and you won’t have to fight with your insurance company to get treated later.

  4. If you are not a TMJ sufferer, please consider the primary concern that happened right after the accident—the health of all involved. Call us, set up a consultation, so you’re not fighting with your insurance company later, while you’re in pain.

The correlation of these types of accidents, auto or otherwise, are just too strong to ignore.  We see the pain, and we hear the battles people fight daily to get treated.  Please—always—be safe.

The doctor will free you now.
Doctor Francis O’Day

The Holidays & TMJ Treatment Resolutions For A Pain Free New Year

TMJ treatment relies on self awareness + protecting yourself.

The holiday season is always an interesting time of the year for all of us.  It can be so many different things, and that changes from year to year.  There’s stress, tension, depression, and anxiety.  But, there’s also thankfulness, sharing, happiness, and excitement.  Those suffering from TMJ symptoms and chronic orofacial pain have to really be aware on how all of this can affect their TMJ treatment in positive and negative ways.

 While it’s going to be different depending on the stage of your TMJ treatment, there are two things that remain constantly important.  Self-awareness has to be at an all time high.  You have to be aware, not only of your schedule, but when you’re becoming stressed and acting out in subtle bad habits that cause TMJ relapses.  Then, you have to be in a mindset to protect yourselfas soon as possible, through routine, relaxation, or in severe cases, make an appointment.  You need to be able to get back on track, enjoy yourself and progress through the holiday season and into a pain free new year!

Last year we wrote a blog regarding relaxing during the holiday season.  We encourage you to check it out again as a constant reminder of how important these mechanisms are to your overall health and TMJ treatment. (How You Can Survive Holiday Stress).

Now, how about those New Year’s resolutions? Well, we thought we’d give a quick easy few for our patients, as well as those that might just be coming to terms with the chance that they might have TMJ.


  1. Don’t stop utilizing your night guard!  It is there to prevent overactivity at night always.  Don’t think that because you’re not in pain, or doing really well, that your activity at night has changed.
  2. Set aside evening time to relax and get yourself comfortable.  It’s important to us all.  This time of year, it can be very easy to lose your relaxation in all the events and time crunch.
  3. Stop those bad, simple habits that you’re holding on to.  You’ve got to pay attention to them: biting nails, chewing gum, gnawing on pencils, and remove them from your usual routines.  Reduce unnecessary facial activity is the goal.  And, we don’t mean stop smiling!
  4. See me, Doctor Francis O’Day!  If you’re experiencing chronic facial pain, like those we describe and discuss (TMJ/TMD Education on our webpage), make an appointment right after the holidays.  You don’t have to continue to suffer, and you’re not alone!

It’s almost Christmas, but more importantly—it’s going to be a brand new year!  This year you’re continuing on your pain free path, or you’re finally get on it!

The doctor will free you now.
Doctor Francis O’Day

Dr. Francis O’Day Discusses TMJ On WECK Radio


Senior Matters with Buddy Shula talks TMJ with Dr. Francis O’Day.

Doctor O’Day talks about TMJ and a lot more! Western New York’s TMJ specialist discusses the symptoms, the variety of chronic pains, and how it effects people’s daily lives.  They even get into proper size for opening your mouth, as well as how popular Dr. O’Day jingle is on radio!  Thank you to Buddy Shula and to “Buffalo’s Very Own” WECK radio for hosting the doctor on “Senior Matters.”  We hope to do this again very soon!


If you think you meet the criteria, or if you’re just starting to feel the kinds of discomfort mentioned, schedule a visit with Doctor Francis O’Day. So many people who put this off, hoping it gets better over time have a longer recovery time. It’s important for you to know that from consultation – until your free of your pain, it is always you and Dr. O’Day, working together to restore your quality of life.

The doctor will free you now.

Why I Became A TMJ Specialist


A TMJ Specialist knows the focus and time needed to free you from TMJ pain.

I love dentistry. Not only do I appreciate what they do and all the people involved in great dentistry, I understand what a healthy mouth means to a patient’s life. When in residency, I saw so many patients struggling with chronic orofacial pain. They were there for dental procedures that were required, but they were really in a different kind of discomfort, and there was just no time to get to the root of it (no pun intended). When it comes to TMJ or TMD related symptoms and the ability to free a patient from this kind of chronic pain, I found that it takes considerable evaluation and time to pin-point and develop an individual strategy to successfully treat. You need a TMJ specialist.

Being a TMJ specialist

My focus really became wanting to free these patients from that which was truly affecting their ability to live.  Not the root canal or their periodontal disease—not that they are not health issues.  With the ability to completely focus on their discomfort, take a deeper personal and medical history, I was able to get to the truth of their chronic pain, devise a way to get them immediate comfort, and plan steady, effective treatments without surgery and addictive pain medication.

HOW IT AFFECTS YOU                                               TYPES OF CHRONIC PAIN
You’re not sleeping well                                                         Sinus pressure, headaches
You’re not eating the foods you would like to                   Jaw pain/clicking in the jaw
You’re not going out to social events                                  Migraine[s]
You’re passing up on family outings                                   Ear pain/Ear fullness

If you think you meet the criteria, or if you’re just starting to feel the kinds of discomfort mentioned, schedule a visit with me. So many people who put this off, hoping it gets better over time have a longer recovery time. It’s important for you to know that from consultation – until your free of your pain, it is always you and I, working together to restore your quality of life.

I’m Doctor Francis O’Day, and I truly love being a TMJ and Orafacial Pain Specialist. Sit down with me—not only is it painless, it’s going to get you pain free.

The doctor will free you now.
Doctor Francis O’Day

TMJ Diagnosis Requires Putting You, The Patient, At Ease

Get comfortable. Get honest. We find the root of your TMJ pain.

People that are thinking about coming to see us, usually have the same thoughts. They’ve been to a lot of medical places. They’ve probably had tests done. And, they’ve probably been through a few medications. We get it. Your anxious, and we completely understand why.  What we also understand, though, is how we need to put you at ease, so we can get to the root of your TMJ pain.

When your relaxed and comfortable:

  1. We get past the diagnostic history.
  2. We get past the symptoms.
  3. We talk about how you were prior to the pain.
  4. We talk about potential habits that might have formed.
  5. We discuss triggers that might be causing harm.

Whether you’ve been referred to us, or you hear our advertisements, or even follow our blogs, we don’t repute your journey. We just want you to relax, get comfortable, and realize you’ve come to the right place. We need to know exactly where you’re coming from, so we can be open and honest in discovering why you are in chronic orofacial pain.  It’s why this practice is singularly dedicated to it and nothing else.

Instead of that third round of antibiotics for that chronic ear infection, ask your ENT doctor, if it could be TMJ. It’s not disrespectful. It’s just giving you another avenue (one that’s non-invasive) to free you from your pain.

On the migraine pain carousel? Take a moment to get off it, book an appointment to see if your pain is a symptom of TMJ. We’re not doing expensive testing. We’re going to relieve your anxiousness and find out the possible roots of your chronic headache pain.

Sit down with me—not only is it painless, it’s going to get you pain free.

The Doctor will free you now.
Dr. Francis O’Day

TMJ Pain and Your Sleep

Stop waking up in pain.

It’s common for people to chalk up their poor sleeping habits to anxiety, poor mattress, a partner who snores, a pillow that’s too hard or too soft, or maybe you just can’t shut your brain off. When it comes to waking up in constant TMJ pain:  ear pain, neck pain, headaches and/or migraine, you don’t need to suffer endlessly—hoping it goes away.

What many don’t realize, is that sometimes there could be physical, more detrimental things going one while you’re sleeping, all pointing to TMJ. Sometimes what you may perceive as tension, is really symptoms of TMJ.

What you could be doing in your sleep:

  • Grinding your teeth [Bruxism] This involves moving the jaw excessively while the teeth are held together. Substantial visible wearing of teeth can be evident to patient and dentist.
  • Clenching There is no visual aid to determine that you are doing this like there is with grinding one’s teeth. This is extensive, substantial muscular activity in the jaw that can eventually lead to severe soreness and pain—as well as damage to the jaw joint.

The truth is, when you are asleep, you have very little control of these issues that can truly define your chronic waking pain(s). You need to be medically assured that your jaw is as relaxed as possible. But, how do you do that when you are in a deep sleep?

A custom-made appliance (night guard) that fits exactly to your mouth can make a huge difference, decreasing your facial muscle activity while you’re sleeping.  A store mouth guard is not a solution to TMJ. They may seem like a quick and economical fix, but they are intrusive and bulky, leading to discomfort in your mouth as they shift during the night. They are also soft and chewable which actually stimulates even more activity.

It’s crucial that you have your appliance custom-made so it feels comfortable, naturally reducing your facial muscle activity. I go over this with every patient in great detail to assure you that this appliance will be right for you and will ultimately free you from your pain, as it did for these recent patients:

“I no longer have a migraine every day that I can hardly open my eyes to get out of bed because I was clenching my jaw all night…” – Sarah Emke [Google Review].

“Dr. O’Day is very knowledgeable.  My ear pain and headaches are almost gone due to the oral appliance he recommended.” – Tina Merritt [Facebook Review].

My office staff will also check your insurance to see if you have a rider that might even cover all or some of the cost. See our other blogs on this subject matter: [Athletic Mouth Guard, Great For Sports, Not For TMJ], [Review Your Medical Coverage].

A nightguard custom-made appliance can give you not only the sleep you’ve been preventing yourself from having, but it can free you from your TMJ pain.

The Doctor will free you now.
Dr. Francis O’Day

Anxiousness and Your TMJ Pain

You might not realize how anxious you are

Our lives today are an ongoing “To Do” list no matter what our age, occupation, or gender. We hold ourselves accountable at work, school, social and family functions to be the best person we can be while shaping and expressing our personality. It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun. Handling and enjoying your life does not automatically come with jaw discomfort or ear pain. And, while it comes with its share of headaches, they’re not meant to be chronic.

You’ve been to the dentist, or you’ve just finished another round of antibiotics for that never-ending ear infection, or it’s just another morning with that sinus headache you’ve learned to just sort of live with. Still your discomfort persists.

What could be missing in all of this, is an understanding of how anxious you are.  Anxiousness leads to bad habits, like grinding of teeth, chewing on pencils, lip biting and/or nail biting, which very well could be the underlying cause of your reoccurring pain. You might not even realize you’re doing it, and that’s okay.

In our office, we have a directive to truly feel you out—find out where you’re coming from.  It’s a “getting to know you” with the purpose of helping you realize your level of anxiety, as well as your current coping mechanisms. From there, Dr. O’Day will be able to help free you from your pain, and get you back to, not only tackling life, but living it—living it pain free.

Call us, say hello to Dr. O’Day and goodbye to TMJ.

The Doctor will free you now.
Dr. Francis O’Day

Pain Is Your Body Talking To You…Listen

The pain of TMJ symptoms are speaking to you. See A Specialist.

Can you hear the game show announcer?  “Unloading the dishwasher, shoveling the driveway, calling your mother.”  The contestant replies, “What are—things we love putting off.” The crowd laughs. It’s human nature. We love to put things off that we need to do. There is always something else we need to do, but, sometimes, doing that can lead to even bigger issues. The dishes pile up, the snow keeps falling, and mom is still waiting for that call—getting angrier by the day. The same holds true for your health.  How long are you willing to deal with an issue just because you are “waiting” to see if it will get better—especially when it comes to chronic pain?

Perhaps you have had a clicking in your jaw, ringing in your ears, pain when you bite into one of our famously large Buffalo burgers? Are you putting up with the pain of headaches and sinus pressure that are plaguing your work and social habits?  These are all symptoms of TMJ, and it will only get worse the longer you wait to take action.

Queue the game show announcer, again. “Chronic pain, lock jaw, missed work, and an even longer wait until you are free from pain.”

“Things that could happen if I keep putting off going to see a TMJ specialist.”

Don’t put it off any longer. Simply put—it’s going to take a longer time to free you from your pain—the longer you wait! Call us, say hello to Dr. O’Day and goodbye to TMJ.

The doctor will free you now.
Doctor Francis O’Day

Relax through Holiday stress

How You Can Survive Holiday Stress

Holiday stress? Relax—doctor’s orders!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the song goes.  And, it can truly be wonderful, but we all know it can be extremely stressful.  Holiday stress is all around us from Thanksgiving until New Year’s.  It comes in all shapes and sizes.  Unfortunately, it is not wrapped up in beautiful bows and festive boxes.  It either hits you like a hurried mall shopper, or it sneaks up on you as quiet as the T’was the Night Before Christmas mouse.

Holiday stress can often lead to relapses of TMJ symptoms.  You can find yourself grinding your teeth in a long checkout line at an over-crowded department store, interrupting your usual sleep rituals because of long holiday parties, and experiencing the return of neck and jaw pain from poor posture and tension from long or late night drives to friends and relatives.

During this busy season, make sure that you take time to relax, so that your body and mind are not going a million miles per hour all the time.  Try to schedule two to three, 15 minutes breaks per day, where you sit down, breathe deep and calm your mind.  On top of this, also make sure to schedule some nice relaxing activities for yourself throughout next few weeks.  Whether it’s family night by the fire, or a nice relaxing spa day for yourself, this can go a long way to help reduce the stress of the season.

Don’t get all “kerbobbled.”  You owe it to yourself to enjoy every aspect and time of the season.  And, if you’re experiencing stronger symptoms, remember we are always here to help get you back to living pain free.

The Doctor will free you now.
Dr. Francis O’Day