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Had jaw pain that went to stomach. Jaw hurt and felt very tight. What could be the cause?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
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Last night I had right jaw pain that then went down the front of me to my stomach. Then, my left jaw hurt - it felt very tight and lasted for about 15 minutes. I then fell asleep. I've had this jaw pain before and was told to watch it. It was not indigestion. I am in fairly good health except that I do smoke./ Was that a small heart attack?
Posted Sun, 14 Jul 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 1 hour later
Hi,
Thank you for using Healthcare Magic.
This chest pain could possibly be related to your heart. It is not typical of heart attack pain but occasionally it can start in the jaw. However, if it was a heart attack then you would be unlikely to fall asleep during an attack. Indigestion is much commoner so you perhaps should reconsider this diagnosis.
I would suggest you see your doctor to discuss these symptoms as I think you should be investigated for ischemic heart disease and a possible heart attack. Also, it may be worth trying an antacid next time you have an attack. This would relieve the pain if it was related to acid reflux.
I hope this has helped you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Regards,
Dr K A Pottinger
MBChB FRCA
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Had jaw pain that went to stomach. Jaw hurt and felt very tight. What could be the cause? 29 minutes later
Thank you, Dr. Pottinger. What is ischemic heart disease? If it was a heart attack, what are the effects of this - anything like scarring of the heart muscle which has damaged the heart? If so, can that be reversed or cured?
I will try antacid next time I have an attack. Are TUMS sufficient or Pepto-Bismol? Thank you , again. Pam
 
 
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 10 hours later
Hi,
Ischemic heart disease is a condition of the heart muscle characterised by reduced blood flow and thereby reduced oxygen supply to the heart muscle. If this is for a significant length of time then a heart attack can occur and this will lead to scarring of the heart muscle. This will be permanent but may not cause significant effect on the function of the heart if only a small area is affected. Under these circunstances, you may not be aware of these changes but they may be apparent on an EKG. Your doctor may consider it appropriate to carry out an EKG as part of your ivestigation.
I hope this has helped you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Regards,
Dr K A Pottinger
MBChB FRCA
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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