Orofacial Pain

Ernest Syndrome

ernest_head_1Ernest Syndrome is a condition affecting a tough, fibrous band of tissue that connects a pointed bone below the ear (the Styloid bone) to the lower curve of the jaw bone (mandible).  This band of tissue stretching from the ear to jaw is called the Stylomandibular Ligament.

The purpose of the Stylomandibular Ligament is to prevent the jaw from sliding too far forward.

ernest_head_2This ligament can be a source of seven main areas of pain that are called Ernest Syndrome.  If you have Ernest Syndrome, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Pain at the site of the Stylomandibular Ligament
  • Pain of the lower back teeth
  • Jaw ache or throb
  • Ear pain and pressure
  • Irritation upon swallowing
  • Clicking or locking of the jaw
  • Pain in the cheek bones
  • Temple aches and headache
  • Eye pain


An anesthetic is carefully injected into the ligament, which causes the pain to subside.  If anesthetic treatment is not sufficient, Dr. Kayne can perform a minimally-invasive surgical procedure.

In this procedure, Dr. Kayne locates and lessens the function of nerve fibers within the ligament.  (Nerve fibers are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain).