Research shows that certain dental treatments can improve conditions that have previously been considered only medical. What do headaches and heart disease have to do with dentistry?

Dr. Janet Travel, who was the White House physician for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, estimated that up to 90% of pain in the head and neck was due to painful muscles. These are the same muscles that move the jaw when the teeth bite and chew. If the teeth fit together in a way that is uncomfortable for the muscles, patients can be prone to headaches. Dentists have a variety of treatments to improve individual bite patterns. This can help with headaches and other bite related symptoms.

Recent research has shown that c-reactive protein (CRP) is even more important than cholesterol as a risk factor for heart disease. CRP is produced as a result of inflammation and gingivitis is inflamed gums. For years, doctors have noted a correlation between people with gingivitis and heart disease. CRP appears to be the missing link.

If you have headaches or heart disease, and your doctors are doing all they can, see your dentist.

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