Can tooth pain cause chest pain?
Chest pain can present itself in different forms from an intense stabbing to a dull ache (that without being very intense is continuous and generally it is difficult to locate it or discover it).
In some cases, the chest pain may manifest as a feeling of tightness or burning. In others, the chest pain moves to the neck or radiates to other areas such as the back, one or both arms, and the pain can reach the jaw region, which can be confused with a toothache.
Teeth and the heart do not seem to have a close relationship; however, several investigations reveal a direct relationship between bacteria in the mouth and cardiovascular diseases. All this leads us to the following question… Can tooth pain cause chest pain?
The main reason people go to the dentist is dental pain. The odontalgia or toothache generally comes from the dental pulp, being this the leading cause, followed by the dental ligaments (fibers that join the tooth to the bone).
The pain of dental origin often includes delayed pain in other areas, especially those innervated by the trigeminal nerve.
Often the patient has difficulty identifying the affected tooth and may point to the pain as coming from another site, whether from a neighboring tooth, from another arch, or in the face and neck, but can a tooth pain cause chest pain?
Tooth pain and chest pain
People may manifest pain in the oral region, either in teeth or musculoskeletal structures, and the originating source of the pain could be located remotely.
This type of pain is called heterotopic pain. So can toothache pain cause chest pain? Well, a possible source of heterotopic pain is the pain of cardiac origin.
Some cardiovascular problems and especially acute myocardial ischemia may have painful representations in the orofacial region and either be the sole symptom or the patient’s chief complaint.
According to the American Heart Association, angina pectoris is a form of chest pain that occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood. It is not usually considered a disease but more of a symptom.
What’s interesting is that angina not only causes chest pain; the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) suggests that it can also irritate the teeth and jaw.
A few tips
Each person may have different symptoms, and it is known that the symptoms of a disease can be misleading. Tooth pain could be something more complex; that is why the following should be considered:
- Toothache can be related to different problems from sinusitis to chest pain. That is why it should not be ignored or given less importance because it is just “teeth.”
- Remember that our whole body is connected. Chest pain that can spread to the neck, teeth, or jaw, nausea, and indigestion are symptoms that can occur days, hours, or minutes before suffering a heart attack.
- Angina pectoris is treatable through a change in lifestyle and medication; treating it will minimize the symptoms.
- If you have a toothache, it is best to make an appointment at Channel Island Family Dental or our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, and Port Hueneme. Here they will guide you if your pain is odontogenic in origin or is the result of some other condition. It is advisable to have a dental checkup at least twice a year, and it can save your teeth and your life.
If you have any questions about this or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Island Family Dental. We look forward to your visit and will make a timely diagnosis.