This could save your life……
One of our long time patients was in to see us recently and related a story to us that gave us all a moment of pause. She would like us to share her story in hopes that it will save a life.
This patient had spent the day wedding shopping with her daughter, but had been feeling a little “off” as she put it. She just didn’t feel herself and even felt a heightened level of anxiety that she attributed to wedding stress. As the day progressed, her anxiety grew and she developed an ache in her neck and jaw area. She initially thought that maybe she had been grinding or clenching her teeth and was now feeling the effects.
She arrived at home and after about an hour or so decided that she would go to bed early as she was still not feeling well. Her husband decided to check in on her and found her in distress and sweating. Despite her protests, he decided to phone 911 and learned from the paramedics that she was actually having a heart attack. She is one of the lucky ones – she survived.
Will you recognise your heart attack?
We are accustomed to associating heart attacks with a sharp pain or squeezing feeling in the chest. Even indigestion can get a person thinking about the possibility of heart trouble. Like this woman, we rarely think of our heart when we are experiencing jaw or even tooth pain, so it is important that we all remember that not everyone experiences crushing chest pains at the onset of a heart attack. The signs can be vague or too silent for us to identify with.
Even though there are many things that can cause jaw and tooth aches, there are usually other accompanying signs that will help you identify the possibility of a heart attack. Do not hesitate to call 911 even though it is easy to ignore signs and symptoms and attribute them to other conditions.
I think over the past few years, we have become reluctant about visiting an emergency or urgent care clinic because of the long wait times. There seems to be a feeling of inconvenience about the whole process, but every second counts during a heart attack – there is no time for feeling like a nuisance or denial. Driving to the emergency takes away from the precious time you have whereas calling 911 will allow the paramedics to begin treating you immediately.
We are accustom to denial in our business and pain can be a such an annoyance! We remind our patients not to ignore pain even after it subsides because it will eventually return in one form or another, and regretfully, often at an inconvenient time. Thousands of Canadians die from heart attacks every year because they don’t receive medical treatment quickly enough. We invite you to visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s website. It is full of the vital information everyone should be aware of.
Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team