One of the most common causes for jaw pain is Temporomandibular Dysfunction, also known as TMD or as TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joints are the joints on the sides of your jaw which connect the jaw to your skull and which facilitate movement.

The causes of jaw pain are as varied as the patients who experience it. Your discomfort might stem from an injury to the jaw, issues with the jaw’s discs, nerve damage or even from overworking the jaw muscles, often due to habits you are hardly aware of, like clenching or grinding your teeth, or stress that manifests physically. You may notice symptoms such as:

  • A stiff or locked jaw
  • Clicking, popping or grinding sounds when you move your mouth
  • Pain or discomfort when eating
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Facial pain, neck pain or ear pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • An inability to open your mouth wide to speak, eat or yawn

The first step towards finding relief is recognizing when to seek professional help. Our orthodontist will work with you to determine the cause of your TMJ disorder and create a treatment plan to alleviate your discomfort and improve your quality of life. Some of the treatments Dr. Taera Kim may recommend include:

  • Splint Therapy (MAGO: Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthotic): This approach aims to stabilize your jaw’s position and coax your muscles into relaxation.
  • Physical Therapy: Techniques to strengthen and relax your jaw muscles, improving function.
  • Pharmacological Approaches: Options like muscle relaxants or even BOTOX® can offer relief in certain cases.
  • Meditation and Relaxation Techniques: Stress management can sometimes be the key to alleviating jaw pain.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of jaw pain or are considering TMJ treatment in La Vista, Nebraska, please call Metro West Orthodontics & Periodontics at 402-614-7022 and schedule a consultation. We are dedicated to providing you with the personal, high-quality care you need to enjoy a pain-free life.