Friday, 26 April 2013

Heart disease and jaw pain. Are they related?

We've all read about the signs of a heart attack over the internet and in hospitals. However, apart from the obvious symptoms, what if there were warning signs that could alert us ahead of time that we may be in trouble? Fortunately, there are certain symptoms that may indicate towards a possible heart problem. Doctors have done ample research in looking at symptoms and signs experienced by patients for months or even years that may lead to a heart attack.

The relation Between the Human Jaw and Heart attacks:
There can be several dental reasons that might make your jaw hurt. Some of the most common comprise of misaligned teeth, TM joint disorders, and grinding habits. Infections and toothaches can also lead to jaw pain.

But apart from the obvious connection, your jaw is also connected to several other parts of your body. Consequently, pain in this area can at times be a sign of problems that are beyond the sphere of dentistry – heart attack, for example. When this is actually the case, the jaw pain will normally be accompanied by several other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and the like.

Description of the Symptoms and Pain:
The pain will normally remain on the left hand side, and stay confined to the lower jaw and molars. Lower jaw pain can also indicate towards other disorders such as cancer, TMJ disorders or gum issues. Upper jaw pain is normally not a heart problem, but can be a gum issue, sinus or cancer. The best way to deal with it is to seek emergency medical care especially if the pain is accompanied by other signs and symptoms of a heart attack. On the other hand, if you’re having oral or jaw conditions not linked with symptoms of a heart attack, you must seek care from a dental expert to decide the basis of your discomfort.

List of Signs that indicate towards calling a doctor:
It is very common for people who have an attack to report panic or anxiety, or a general uneasiness. In case you’re having such feelings with your jaw pain, or in case your jaw pain begins suddenly or is accompanied with any of the below mentioned symptoms, call 911 immediately:
  • Stomach pain that might include feeling of throwing up
  • Uneasiness in the chest, such as squeezing, pain, or a feeling of heaviness
  • Sweaty, pale, clammy or cold skin
  • Feeling as though you can’t catch up with your breath
  • Discomfort or pain spreading from the neck, chest, or jaw to the shoulders or back
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
  • Feeling tired
  • Breaking out in sweat
Unlike the pain caused by TMJ disorder, ear infection or tooth pain, jaw pain due to a heart problem doesn't feel like it is in one specific spot but rather it radiates outward in a specific line. The pain might also extend to the arm and shoulder -- specifically on the left hand side, and remedies like ice, heat and massage don't affect it.

Every minute counts when you’re having a heart attack because without immediate treatment, a heart attack can get fatal or can cause serious damage to the cardiovascular system. You will get the quickest treatment and diagnosis of your pain by calling 911. This is due to the fact that the emergency personnel will initiate the treatment from the pickup point itself. As a safety measure, all medics will treat you as though you are having an attack till all tests have been performed. This will ensure complete safety.

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