Heart attack symptoms: Feeling pain in this unexpected part of the body could be a sign

Heart attacks in the movies often come on suddenly and dramatically. However, in real life, symptoms can occur gradually, often disappearing and returning over a period of several hours of even days. The more symptoms a person may experience, the more likely it is that they’re having a heart attack. A lesser known sign of a heart attack is experiencing pain in this area.


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Dr Duc T. Nguyen, DO said: “A heart attack occurs when the blood flow from the artery that brings oxygen to the heart is severely reduced or blocked.

“The blockage occurs because plaque in the artery ruptures, leading to a blood clot.

“While chest pain is a more obvious sign of a heart attack, symptoms can vary from person to person.

“If you watch for signs, identify a heart attack clearly, and act quickly, you have a very good chance of making a full recovery with the treatments that your cardiologist will provide.”

The lesser known symptom of a heart attack could include pain in the jaw which some have described as a pain similar to tooth pain.

Dr Duc added: “This type of pain can make you think you need a dentist rather than a cardiologist.

“The pain may only last a few minutes, but it will keep returning.”

According to the Cleveland Clinic, women have jaw pain that’s often specific to the lower left side of the jaw.

The American Heart Foundation said: “Don’t wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs.

“Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, mild pain or discomfort.”

It advises to pay attention to your body and call for help if you experience:

Chest discomfort – Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the centre of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body – Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck or stomach

Shortness of breath – This can occur with or without chest discomfort


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Other signs of a heart attack

Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Could jaw pain be a sign of a stroke?

The signs of a heart attack, such as chest and jaw pain are different from the signs of a stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness that’s often on one side of the body and often in the face
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding someone else speaking
  • Sudden vision problems
  • Sudden unexplained severe headache
  • Sudden loss of balance, lack of coordination or dizziness

Symptoms of a heart attack may include chest and jaw pain. If a person experiences this, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re having a heart attack.

However, one should still seek emergency medical treatment.

It’s always better to get emergency care that a person might not have needed than it is to ignore, or not take seriously, the signs of a potential heart attack.

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