Heart attack: Pain in the jaw is a lesser known warning sign |

Heart attack symptoms include a pain, pressure or squeezing in the centre of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back, radiating pain or discomfort in other areas of the body including the arms, back, neck, shoulder, stomach, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, breaking out in a sweat for no apparent reason, unusual fatigue, pounding heartbeats, a sensation of panic with a feeling of impending doom or chronic indigestion which includes burping, belching, heartburn, nausea or having a sour taste in your mouth.

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Heart attacks are serious and involve the supply of blood to the heart, which suddenly becomes blocked.

The main cause of a heart attack is the blood vessels leading to the heart becoming blocked.

A heart attack happens if the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart cannot get oxygen.

When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is known as atherosclerosis.

The build-up of plaque occurs over many years. There is a lesser known warning sign which originates in a person’s jaw.

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The American Heart Association said: “Learning the signs for heart attack and remember that even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out.

“As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting and back or back or jaw pain.”

Heart attack: Feeling in jaw

Heart attack: Having this feeling in your jaw is a major warning sign (Image: Getty Images)

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Dr Steven Bender, clinical assistant professor and director of the Center for facial pain and sleep medicine at Texas A&M college of dentistry said: “Sometimes the manifestations of a heart attack or some cardiac event can be felt in the jaws, the teeth and the neck.

“It’s not just the left side, it can happen on the right side too, especially for females.

Heart attack: Pain in jaw

Heart attack: Experiencing a pain in the jaw is a sign of a heart attack (Image: Getty Images)

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“The pain is a sign. It’s an indicator that something is happening right then, right in that moment. It may come and go depending on the severity, just like people who say, ‘I thought it was heartburn,’ and it comes and goes.

“It’s the same thing with the jaw pain. It may come and go, and people may not attribute it to a cardiac event.

“The pain can get so intense that it wakes people from sleep.”

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National heart, lung and blood institute said: “The major risk factors for a heart attack include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, an unhealthy diet, lack of routine physical activity, high blood sugar due to insulin resistance or diabetes. Some of these risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and high blood sugar tend to occur together. When they do, it’s called metabolic syndrome.

“In general, a person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone who doesn’t have metabolic syndrome.”