Chest pain or tightness and jaw pain, like that of a toothache, may be early indicators of a heart attack. A heart attack requires emergency medical attention.

When blood flow to your heart is significantly or completely blocked, you’re having a heart attack.

Two symptoms that are common in heart attacks are:

  • Chest pain. This is sometimes described as a stabbing pain, or a feeling of tightness, pressure, or squeezing.
  • Jaw pain. This is sometimes described as feeling like a bad toothache.

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

If you have persistent chest pain, the Mayo Clinic recommends seeking emergency medical help, especially if the persistent pain is accompanied by:

A silent heart attack, or silent myocardial infarction (SMI), doesn’t have symptoms with the same intensity as a standard heart attack.

According to Harvard Medical School, the symptoms of SMIs can be so mild that they’re not thought of as problematic and may be ignored.

SMI symptoms may be brief and mild, and can include:

  • pressure or pain in the center of your chest
  • discomfort in areas, such as your jaw, neck, arms, back, or stomach
  • shortness of breath
  • cold sweat
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea

If you’re experiencing chest pain, you could be having a heart attack. However, there are other conditions that mimic heart attack symptoms.

According to The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, you could be experiencing:

Always seek emergency medical treatment if you suspect a heart attack

Just because it may not be a heart attack, you should still seek emergency medical treatment. Not only can some of the above conditions be life-threatening, but you should also never ignore or dismiss symptoms of a potentially fatal heart attack.

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If you’re experiencing jaw pain by itself, there are a number of explanations other than heart attack. Your jaw pain could be a symptom of:

If you’re experiencing jaw pain, discuss your symptoms and treatment options with your healthcare provider.

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, arm, or leg
  • sudden confusion
  • sudden difficulty speaking or understanding someone else speaking
  • sudden vision problems (one or both eyes)
  • sudden unexplained severe headache
  • sudden loss of balance, lack of coordination, or dizziness

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, or someone else is experiencing them, seek immediate emergency medical help.

Symptoms of a heart attack may include chest and jaw pain.

If you’re experiencing them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re having a heart attack. However, you should still seek emergency medical treatment.

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