Orofacial Pain and Toothache as the Sole Symptom of an Acute Myocardial Infarction Entails a Major Risk of Misdiagnosis and Death

Marcelo Kreiner, Jeffrey Okeson, Verónica Tanco, Anders Waldenström, Annika Isberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: To provide an update of knowledge regarding the clinical presentation and neurophysiologic aspects of orofacial pain of cardiac origin in the form of a literature review. Methods: The peer-reviewed databases Scopus/Embase, NCBI (PubMed), and Science Direct were searched up to December 2018. Results: Patients with myocardial infarction presenting without chest pain run a higher risk of death due to missed diagnosis and subsequently a significantly greater delay between the onset of symptoms and arrival at the hospital. During myocardial ischemia, orofacial pain is reported by 4 in 10 patients and described as oppressive and/or burning. Up to 4% of myocardial infarction patients experience pain solely in the orofacial structures, women more of ten than men. Orofacial pain during myocardial ischemia is associated with ischemia within the inferior wall of the heart, suggesting the involvement of the vagal system. Conclusion: The clinician’s awareness of the full spectrum of clinical characteristics of a myocardial infarction constitutes a key factor in accurate diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral and Facial Pain and Headache
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020. by Quintessence Publishing Co Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords

  • cardiac ischemia
  • cardiac pain
  • myocardial infarction
  • orofacial pain
  • toothache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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