A very common headache disorder treated by Dr. Wesley Shankland, called temporal tendinitis, is one of the most common causes of temple headache pain. It is often initiated by auto accident or other types of trauma to the head and neck and is complicated diagnostically by confusing the symptoms with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

As with all pain management, diagnosis is key. Goethe’s maxim says, “What ones knows, one sees.” Conversely, what one does not know, one does not see. Dr. Wesley Shankland feels that the finest service any doctor can provide to his or her patients is determining an accurate diagnosis.

Appropriate and effective diagnosis and treatment of neck and head injuries requires both dental and medical knowledge in the areas of mouth, soft tissue, and TM joint and upper back. If the patient has jaw joint pain and soft tissue pain, the clinician must determine which is primary and which is secondary in the diagnostic stream. In particular, it is crucial to first assess the condition of the jaw joint and its muscles and tendons before proceeding to equilibrate the teeth.

Dr. Wesley Shankland has written and lectured extensively on temporal tendonitis and other pain disorders. The common symptoms of temporal tendonitis are:

  • Temporal headache pain
  • TMJ pain
  • Ear stuffiness
  • Ear pain
  • Pain in and behind the eye
  • Nausea (at times)
  • Posterior tooth pain even if the teeth are missing

The most common cause of temporal tendonitis is trauma to the head, lower jaw or neck. Dr. Wesley Shankland has also determined that another very common cause is having the mouth opened for a prolonged period of time (for example, intubation for general anesthesia, having the mouth open wide for oral surgery or other dental procedures).

Temporal tendonitis is very often misdiagnosed as migraine headache or tensionheadache pain and therefore, usually treated inappropriately.

If you or a loved-one has some of these symptoms and a history of undiagnosed headache pain, see Dr. Wesley Shankland for an evaluation.