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Do you have Ernest Syndrome Pain?

Ernest Syndrome, a condition discovered by Dr. Ernest in 1982, is a painful headache disorder and facial pain condition that may result from car accidents, blows to the head, falls, prolonged opening of the mouth, wisdom teeth surgery procedures or general anesthesia.

The facial pain begins below the lobe of the ear and radiates to the ear, temple, cheek bone, lower rear teeth, eye, jaw joint and throat. Treatment may first include injection of medication into the damaged ligament.  It often resembles a temple headache and earache.


Ernest Syndrome


The best test to see if the ligament is causing the painful syndrome is to place 1/2 cc of local anesthetic (like in numbing a tooth) into the attachment of the ligament. If the painful condition stops when anesthetic is deposited, then the source of the pain is likely the ligament.

Ernest Syndrome

The pain reference areas from Ernest Syndrome are located at the following sites:

  1. Lower back teeth and jaw ache and throb

  2. Ear pain and pressure

  3. Throat hurts and feels like it is irritated on swallowing

  4. Jaw joint hurts and aches deep inside; injured ligament may cause disc to displace and click or lock

  5. Cheek bone and coronoid process aches and hurts

  6. Temple aches and hurts (temple headache)

  7. Eye often hurts

  8. Aching pain at attachment of ligament


Ernest Syndrome

Ernest Syndrome


A painful condition involving the stylomandibular ligament.

This condition was discovered by Dr. Ernest in 1982, and published first in 1983.


Doctors who treat  painful muscle and ligament injuries have noted that about 85% of patients who suffer  pain and headache respond favorably to conservative treatment using oral and injectable medications.  Those patients who respond to medications usually have been hurting less than six months.  For patients who have hurt longer than six months, a smaller percentage improve from medications, but most hurting over six months have some degenerative change that requires more advanced treatment  

 One of the advanced treatments that Dr. Ernest utilizes for muscle and ligament injuries is the use of  radiofrequency thermoneurolysis.  The treatment uses a micro cautery to painlessly put injured muscle/nerve fibers and ligament/nerve fibers to sleep permanently, in most cases.

There is usually no need for hospitalization.   The procedure is done in the clinic using local anesthetic to help prevent pain or discomfort. It is an example of modern medicine and technology making treatment more comfortable and much safer for the patient. 


©All Rights Reserved Copyright  2006 Edwin A. Ernest, III, DMD Gatlinburg, TN

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