Substance P and Trigeminal System
Substance P was discovered in 1931 and serious investigations were not started until the early
1980’s. Since that time there has been extensive investigation into the effects of substance P on different systems and physiologic processes, though very little research on substance P from trigeminal system origins. See wikipedia description.
The purpose of this website is to promote the little known, but dramatic effect of a compromised cranio-mandibular relationship on systemic substance P levels; hence the effect of bite on many disease processes. The goal of this information is to help physicians and dentists become more knowledgeable about substance P and the trigeminal system so as to entertain the possibility of dentistry becoming a significant contributor to the medical system.
There are many studies that have shown patients with jaw dysfunction have very high medical utilization rates. There are also many studies that show that insults to the trigeminal system causes a wide array of conditions associated with elevated substance P (headaches, glial activation, central sensitization, etc.). Hence, the recognition of the connection between jaw misalignment and elevated substance P is crucial if health care is to become more efficient and less costly. Precise dental orthopedic therapy offers dramatic resolution to many difficult to cure diseases. Pharmaceutical management is not an option as the dysfunction will continue to manifest in a broad spectrum of disorders. The broad effect of a compromised cranio-mandibular relationship is summarized in the Substance_P_Cascade.
The reason that trigeminal system defects have such a major effect on substance P levels is that the trigeminal nerve has 100 times more dense “C’ fibers (pain fibers) than any other nerve in the body. Secondly, the trigeminal is closer to the brain than any other sensory nerve, and hence has more influence. Defects within the trigeminal nerve distribution zone cause elevated tonicity within the trigeminal, and subsequently alters trigeminal sensory output and over time modifies the trigeminal system and eventually the brain.
Dwight Jennings, DDS
February 3, 2013