Have you ever suffered with a headache that no matter what you did, the headache pain would not stop. This type of headache usually affects one or both temples, makes the ears feel clogged and can even produce lateral eye pain. This type of headache often occurs after trauma to the jaw, have your mouth open for long periods of time (for example, a long dental appointment) or being put to sleep for surgery.

This is a very common headache disorder treated by Dr. Wesley Shankland, called temporal tendinitis. It 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 adjust or grind the teeth.

More on Temporal Tendonitis in the next blog.