Orofacial Pain

Temporal Tendonitis

The "temporal tendon" connects the jaw bone to a thin and flat muscle that spans the side of the head (the "temporal muscle").  The purpose of the temporal muscle is to pull the temporal tendon, which helps the mouth to close.

The condition "temporal tendinitis" refers to inflammation and tenderness of the temporal tendon.  This condition may often feel like a migraine headache, and so is also known as the "migraine mimic".

One way to determine if the pain is caused by the temporal tendon is to put your finger in your mouth and gently push outward on the cheek, at the top of the jaw.

Symptoms include:

  • Aching behind the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Intense headache
  • Swelling of the cheek
  • Restricted jaw movement
  • Ear pain and pressure
  • Radiation of pain from the cheek to eye


Dr. Kayne treats the area with injections of anesthetics and pain-blockers.  For more severe cases, a minimally-invasive surgery technique diminishes the function of the nerve fibers that run through the ligament and cause pain.