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Does Your Child Have Jaw Pain?

“Mom, my jaw really hurts.”

Is that something you’ve heard your child say lately?

If so, it could be a sign that your child needs to see an orthodontist. After all, if your child is experiencing jaw pain (whether it’s from an injury or it’s something without a known cause), it’s important to get the pain and discomfort under control quickly and to find out what is going on.

What is causing my child’s jaw pain?

If your child is complaining of a sore jaw or you’ve seen them holding their face in pain, it could be due to a misaligned bite, which is more common than you may realize.

In fact, many children (and adults) experience a wide variety of symptoms including jaw pain, headaches, excessive tiredness, and much more; all of which can be traced back to a misaligned bite.

A misaligned bite can cause all of that pain…really?

I know it seems weird that a small misalignment could cause a significant amount of jaw pain for your child, but it’s true. If your child’s bite is off (even fractionally), it may cause the other jaw muscles and surrounding muscles to overcompensate, which can lead to pain, discomfort, and a host of other symptoms.

While it’s obviously not good that your child is in pain, it’s not as “doom and gloom” as it may seem. That’s because there are a variety of orthodontic treatments that can correct a misaligned bite, depending on your child’s age and the severity of their condition.

What treatments are available?

In many cases, a misaligned bite can be corrected with relatively simple orthodontic treatment. There are three treatments that are common for treating a misaligned bite in children and teenagers:


The combination of metal brackets, wire, and rubber bands can be strategically placed in order to correct a misaligned bite. In fact, when children’s teeth are crooked, this can often lead to (or accompany) a misaligned bite.

In this case, braces become a great functional and aesthetic treatment!

Upper Expanders:

A common reason for a misaligned bite is an underbite. With that said, an upper expander puts gentle pressure on the upper jaw, which can correct some overcrowding issues, as well as an underbite.

Jaw surgery:

If a misaligned bite is caught early enough, surgery usually isn’t necessary (although each case is different). However, in some cases, surgery may be required to correct a misaligned bite and to alleviate your child’s jaw pain.

Other appliances:

We don’t want to bore you with the details, but there are also a wide variety of other orthodontic appliances that we may be able to use in order to correct your child’s misaligned bite.

When you work with our orthodontic team, you know that you’re not just going to get a “cookie cutter” treatment plan. We work with each and every child (and their family) to ensure a customized treatment plan and a wonderful experience.

Your thoughts, values, and opinions are extremely important to us. You know your child best and we value your input immensely.

What results can I expect from orthodontic treatment?

Each case is different. However, if your child is experiencing jaw pain, then the result we all want is to alleviate that pain and ensure that your child’s jaws, teeth, etc. are developing correctly.

If we find, after an examination and x-rays (we use digital x-rays for less radiation exposure and increased safety), that your child’s jaw pain is likely due to a misaligned bite, then we will make treatment recommendations and discuss options with you.

As mentioned earlier, we pride ourselves on creating the best treatment plan for your child’s unique situation. We aren’t going to fit or force your child into a particular treatment model that may not be right for them.

So what’s the next step?

If your child is experiencing jaw pain or discomfort, then it’s important to get help as soon as possible. At Dental Town, we have four convenient locations (Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, and Johns Creek, GA).

If you live in or around one of these cities, give our office nearest you a call today to schedule your child’s consult. It’s time to get some answers for why your child’s jaw is hurting and get them on the road to recovery.