Last updated on June 19, 2024

How Long Do You Have Jaw Pain Before a Heart Attack?

Jaw pain is an alarming condition to experience, especially when perceived as a symptom of a heart attack. Though chest pain remains the hallmark for the diagnosis and recognition of a heart attack, jaw pain is still considered an important warning sign that should not be neglected, specifically for women.

Therefore, it is important to know how long you have jaw pain before a heart attack. In this blog, we will explore the link between jaw pain and heart attack, the duration of this pain, and when to visit a medical practitioner for a heart health checkup.

Jaw Pain And Heart Attacks

The reason why jaw pain is an unnoticed symptom is that most people tend to link heart attacks only with chest pains, whereas the jaw and the heart share the same pathways of nerves.

In this case, due to the similar pathways, there can take place as an experience of referred pain. When you are having a heart attack, the brain can interpret the signals being sent from the heart and think they are coming from the jaw or other areas like the neck, shoulders, or back.

How Long Does Jaw Pain Last Before a Heart Attack?

The duration of Jaw Pain before a heart attack can be very different. It can begin with on-and-off jaw pain that can last from a few days, up to weeks at times. This pain may not be severe and often comes and goes, which makes it very hard to recognize and, hence, easy to ignore. It is a different situation from how long a heart attack pain lasts since heart attack pain depends on each individual’s condition.

How to Tell If Jaw Pain is From a Heart Attack?

It may be difficult to distinguish heart attack-related jaw pain from other jaw pain, such as dental problems or disorders of the TMJ. Jaw pain with heart attack typically:

  • Occurs suddenly and without a clear reason.
  • Is associated with exertion or stress.
  • Is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or lightheadedness.
  • May radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, shoulders, or arms.

Is Jaw Pain a Common Symptom of a Heart Attack?

It is not the most common symptom of heart attacks; instead, it is an identified and major one, especially among women. While chest pain is typically associated with heart attacks, other symptoms can vary widely. Women, in particular, are more likely to experience atypical symptoms such as jaw pain, back pain, shortness of breath, and nausea.

Heart-related jaw pain often manifests as an unexplained ache or pressure, sometimes radiating to the neck, shoulders, or back. Heart attacks occur suddenly with exertion or stress and lack a clear dental or muscular cause. Recognizing jaw pain as a potential heart attack symptom is essential, as it can lead to immediate medical attention and improved outcomes. If you leave these symptoms untreated in a case of heart attack, it can lead to congestive heart failure.

What Causes Jaw Pain During a Heart Attack?

During a heart attack, the lack of oxygenated blood flow to the heart muscle causes tissue damage and pain. The pain signals travel through the nervous system and can be misinterpreted by the brain, resulting in referred pain. This misinterpretation can cause the brain to perceive pain in the jaw rather than the chest.

Additionally, the heart and jaw share certain nerves, such as the vagus nerve, which can contribute to this referred pain. However, combined chest pain with jaw pain is dangerous for the heart.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Jaw Pain?

You need to visit a doctor about your jaw pain if sudden, severe, or without an obvious reason-especially if the pain also brings along the following:

  • Chronic tightness of the chest or stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pain spreads into the shoulders, up into the neck, back, and arm pain.

Early detection and treatment of cardiac arrest issues can significantly improve outcomes. Because it can increase the heart attack survival rate. So, consult with your cardiologist as soon as possible after getting any symptoms of a heart attack.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which side of jaw pain in a heart attack?

Jaw pain from a heart attack typically affects the left side, but it can occur on either side or both sides of the jaw. The left side of jaw pain is not the specific side.  It may also radiate from the chest to the jaw.

What does jaw pain from a heart attack feel like?

Jaw pain from a heart attack often feels like pressure, tightness, or aching. It is usually unexplained, and sudden. It can be accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath.

How do I know if my jaw pain is heart-related?

Jaw pain may be heart-related if it is sudden, severe, unexplained, and accompanied by other heart attack symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or pain radiating to the neck, shoulders, or arms.

Which teeth hurt during a heart attack?

During a heart attack, cardiac jaw pain can sometimes radiate to the lower jaw, causing discomfort in the lower teeth. This pain is usually diffuse and not localized to a specific tooth.

What are the impending heart attack symptoms?

Impending heart attack symptoms include chest discomfort, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Other signs may include weakness, indigestion, or sweating. Seeking prompt medical attention for these warning signs is crucial.

Does chest pain cause a heart attack?

Chest pain can be a symptom of a heart attack, but not all chest pain indicates a heart attack. It’s essential to consider other factors and accompanying symptoms for an accurate diagnosis.


This blog is for informational & educational purposes only and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health-related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

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