Symptoms of TMJ Disorder | Walnut Creek, CA

tmj disorder walnut creek

When your teeth are misaligned it causes the jaw muscles to apply extra pressure to compensate for the poor alignment of your teeth. This is what’s called a “bad bite.” This extra pressure increases stress on the surface of the teeth and leads to cracks, chips and jaw pain.

Jaw pain results from a muscle strain placed where the upper and lower jaw meet, called the temporomandibular joint. When pain occurs in this areas it is called TMJ disorder.

Sufferers of TMJ disorder will experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in multiple teeth or the jaw joint
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Cracked, chipped or broken dental restorations
  • Headache—especially when opening and closing your jaw
  • Ear pain—in front of or below the ear, with no other signs of ear infection
  • Noises “in your head” — grinding, crunching, or popping sounds

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontics about treatment options to diminish your tooth, jaw, and headaches. For more information about TMJ and different treatment options call Doctors Barmby and Frick at 925-934-5526. Visit the website at



Prosthodontics | Jaw and Ear Pain | Serving Alamo, CA

TMJ disorders are problems with the jaw joint. A problem with the muscles or joints in your jaw can lead to headaches, ear pain, bite problems, jaw pain and much more. There are several conditions that can end up causing TMJ.

  • Bruxism (Teeth grinding and clenching): Sufferers of bruxism often wake up with jaw or ear pain. This is due to wear on the cartilage lining of the temporomandibular joint.
  • Gum chewing or nail biting
  • Malocclusion: the misalignment of teeth. Some people find it hard to chew on a certain side of their teeth due to misalignment, so they habitually chew on the other side causing excess stress on that side of the jaw.
  • Previous jaw fractures or injury.

Some of the symptoms of TMJ are headache, ear pain, dizziness and ringing in the ear. If you have any of these symptoms and feel you may have a TMJ disorder contact the best in prosthodontic care Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick of Walnut Creek Prosthodontics. They will evaluate your symptoms and help alleviate your pain. Make an appointment today at 925-934-5526. Visit their website for more information at

Accepting patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding ares.

Night Guard’s to the rescue | Walnut Creek, CA

Photo from the The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) website

Bruxism is the clenching together of both the upper and lower teeth. Clenching causes pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other surrounding structures of the jaw.  This clenching can cause jaw joint disorders, headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, ear pain, tense muscles, and excessive wear on the teeth. This is referred to as “TMJ” (temporomandibular joint). Bruxism can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint (the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the upper jaw) if not properly treated. It is estimated that 30-40 million Americans are affected by Bruxism.

The majority of people who clench also tend to grind their teeth. Grinding is when you slide your teeth over each other in a back and forth, sideways movement. Often the grinding is a subconscious behavior that is not realized by the bruxer. A partner or significant other is often the first to hear the noise of the bruxer’s teeth grinding at night. If left untreated, this grinding can wear down your teeth. The cause of Bruxism is not completely known, but many agree that stress and anxiety play a major role.

What Is the Treatment?

Stress reduction and anxiety management are methods used to treat Bruxism and reduce the symptoms, but a dental night guard is the most commonly used treatment method. A night guard is a horseshoe-shaped, retainer-like, plastic appliance with shallow borders that can be worn on either the top or the bottom teeth. It is intended to protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching and grinding by having a protective cushion between the upper and lower teeth. A night guard is a simple and affordable decision for protecting your teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of Bruxism. When properly made by your dentist, it can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw.

For more information on TMJ and Bruxism, contact Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick at (925) 934-5526 or visit our website.

Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick also proudly serves Alamo, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda and surrounding areas.