Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a rare condition that causes inflammation of blood vessels. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to prevent ischaemic complications, including blindness, tongue necrosis and stroke. GCA can present with orofacial symptoms, such as toothache and pain/difficulty in chewing, which may cause individuals with GCA to first present to the dentist. This has important patient safety and medicolegal implications. Dental practitioners should be alert to the possibility of GCA and should direct suspected cases to their general medical practitioner or a hospital specialist. Increased awareness of GCA should minimize the risk of blindness and stroke.