If a person is having jaw pain, they should seek medical help right away since it could be a sign of a heart attack. When pain radiates or extends from the chest to other parts of the body, it can cause jaw pain. Radiating discomfort in the spine, limbs, back, neck, or stomach may also be experienced.
Uncomfortable squeezing, pressure, or discomfort in the chest, nausea, cold chills, and lightheadedness are all common symptoms of a heart attack.
In this article, the connection between jaw pain and heart attacks is explored. It also looks at other possible causes of jaw pain and when emergency medical help should be sought.
Gender and sex exist on a spectrum. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to the sex assigned at birth. To learn more, visit here.
Is it possible for a heart attack to trigger jaw pain?
Jaw pain can be caused by a heart attack. It does not, however, induce jaw pain directly. Rather, the discomfort from the heart can go to the jaw.
How can you know if your jaw discomfort is caused by a heart attack?
When assessing whether a patient’s jaw discomfort is caused by a heart attack or something else, doctors must analyze the patient’s symptoms.
Chest pain or discomfort in the center of the chest is one of the most typical signs of a heart attack. Typically, the soreness lasts a few minutes or disappears and reappears. An painful squeezing, pressure, agony, or fullness may be described as the pain.
Other symptoms of a heart attack can be exacerbated by radiating pain. When pain radiates, it affects the nerves and spreads to various parts of the body from the original source. An individual may suffer radiating pain in their jaw, back, one or both arms, neck, and stomach after a heart attack, for example.
Shortness of breath is a symptom of a heart attack. As a result, if they are having jaw pain along with shortness of breath, a heart attack is a plausible possibility.
Other symptoms of a heart attack include:\
- breaking out in a cold sweat
Symptoms usually appear gradually, with just minor discomfort or pain. However, the existence of these symptoms, as well as jaw pain, need immediate medical attention.
Males and females
The existence of jaw pain is one of the warning indicators of a heart attack that differs between males and females. While both men and women might have chest pain or discomfort, other symptoms may vary.
Females, for example, are more prone to have additional atypical heart attack symptoms, such as:
- nausea or vomiting
- shortness of breath
- aw pain
Other potential causes of jaw pain
Jaw pain can be caused by a number of things that aren’t related to a heart attack. Physical ailments, arthritis, and dental issues are just a few examples.
The TMJ connects the jaw to the side of the head and allows a person to talk, yawn, and chew.
The following symptoms may be experienced by people with TMJ disorders:
- stiffness in the jaw muscles
- painful popping or clicking in the jaw
- pain in the jaw, face, or neck
- locking or limited movement of the jaw
Sharp, shooting pain is a symptom of neuralgia, a form of nerve disease. If nerves are injured or inflamed, the disease can develop.
Trigeminal neuralgia is the name given to a type of neuralgia that affects the jaw. The trigeminal nerve is irritated in this case.
Trigeminal neuralgia causes acute, electric-shock-like pain on one side of the face in most people. While it may appear to be minor at first, if left untreated, it can become more serious.
A person who suffers from bruxism grinds and clenches their teeth. It occurs more frequently when a person is awake, although it can also occur while they are sleeping.
Typical bruxism symptoms include:
- soreness of the jaw
- tooth damage
When a person clenches and grinds their teeth, the muscles tense, causing pain.
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is caused by plaque formation in the walls of the arteries that deliver blood to the heart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The plaque narrows the arteries, making it more difficult for blood to circulate freely.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most frequent type of heart disease in the United States. However, unless they suffer a heart attack, a person may be unaware that they have the illness.
Other indications and symptoms of CAD exist, the most prevalent of which is angina. This is pain and discomfort in the chest caused by a reduction in blood flow. A severe angina episode can cause pain to migrate to the arms, neck, back, and jaw.
CAD symptoms are usually not noticeable before a heart attack. As a result, people should be aware of the risk factors for CAD and seek medical advice if they believe they are at risk.
The following are the main risk factors:
- having cholesterol levels outside of the healthy range
- having high blood pressure
- not being physically active
- having overweight
- not following a balanced diet
- having a family history of heart disease
- being an older adult
Learn more about CAD here.
Temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis, is an inflammatory illness that affects the blood vessels in the temporal region of the head. It can cause jaw pain, especially when chewing.
In addition to jaw pain, temporal arteritis can cause one-sided visual loss that is reversible or not.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- unexplained weight loss
- muscle pain or stiffness in the neck, hips, or shoulders
- dry cough
When should you seek emergency medical attention?
If a person exhibits any of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, they should seek medical help as soon as possible.
Even if a person is unsure whether their symptoms are related to a heart attack or not, they should call 911 straight once because every minute counts in the case of a heart attack.
A medical team can start treating someone as soon as they arrive on the scene, which is far faster than if the person went to the hospital on their own.
If somebody experiences any symptoms that could signal a heart attack, they should seek medical help immediately.
Jaw pain is one of several heart attack symptoms, the most frequent of which being chest pain or discomfort.
When a doctor evaluates a patient’s jaw pain, they look at the patient’s other symptoms to see if the pain is caused by a heart attack or something else.
TMJ disorders, neuralgia, bruxism, CAD, and temporal arteritis are some of the other causes of jaw pain.
When it comes to heart attacks, every minute counts, so if you or someone you know is experiencing jaw pain or other heart attack symptoms, seek emergency medical help right away.