More Than Chest Pain
While this section focuses on heart disease, chest pain isn't the only indication that something's wrong. Take this scenario: It's a hot summer's day, and you're working up a sweat mowing your lawn, which resembles a modest jungle. You stop to wipe your brow, when suddenly your jaw starts hurting. While heart disease runs in your family, everyone has trained you to look out for the fabled chest pain. So you think nothing of it. You reason that you may have clenched your jaw tightly while sleeping because of stress at work.
Unfortunately, your aching jaw could be a sign that your heart is stressed. Your jaw pain could serve as warning of an impending heart attack or a sign that one has just occurred.
Pain from a heart attack often shows up in places other than your chest: your shoulder, arm, abdomen, lower jaw or throat. Ignore the mysterious pain in your jaw, and that overgrown lawn you're attempting to tame could be your ultimate undoing. If you do experience a sudden pain in your shoulder or jaw area -- especially if you are at risk of heart disease -- stop what you're doing, alert someone and seek medical attention. There aren't many good reasons why your jaw or the length of your arm would suddenly start throbbing with pain, and a doctor's investigation of what's happening could add years to your life.