Can Chewing Gum Cause Headaches?

By Annette GallagherMay 13, 2014February 7th, 2022No Comments

Typical triggers for headache or migraine attacks include stress, poor sleep habits, noise, sunlight, heat, prolonged exposure to computer or TV screens, smoking, skipping meals and menstruation.

But did you know that the stick of gum you just put in your mouth could also be the reason for your headaches?

A recent study carried out in Tel Aviv revealed the following findings and they make interesting reading for anybody with headaches and a gum habit:

  • 87% of gum chewing teenagers who suffer from migraine could stop the pain all together if they gave up chewing gum.
  • One part of the study suggested that chewing gum could cause tension to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – this is the place where your skull meets your jaw and is the joint that is most active when we chew. In turn, all that chewing could cause the onset of headaches.
  • Another part of the story focused on the effect of aspartame – this artificial sweetener that is found in most chewing gums is also a trigger for headaches.

Ditch The Gum Habit And Cure Your Headaches For Good

At the New Jersey Headache Institute, we are constantly reviewing the latest studies from around the world so that we can incorporate new treatments and therapies into the services we provide. The study carried out by Meir Medical Centre in Tel Aviv produced some interesting findings.

Dr. Watemberg, one of the scientists working on the study, said, “Out of the 30 patients we studied, 26 reported significant improvement and 19 had complete headache resolution after they stopped chewing gum. What’s more, 20 of the patients with improvements went back to their gum chewing habit and all of them reported an onset of headaches once more.”

Old Or Young – Our Headache Treatment And Prevention Advice Is For All

Dr. Payman Sadeghi is the co-founder of the New Jersey Headache Institute. He studied medicine at Nordestana University and finished his Internal Medicine internship and Neurology residency at the University of Texas. Dr. Sadeghi has completed an electromyography super fellowship as well as many epilepsy and neuroimaging fellowships. At his residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch Dr. Sadeghi gained extensive experience diagnosing and treating headache and migraine patients. That residency, along with Dr. Sadeghi’s medical curiosity and his varied clinical experience, has made him a specialist in headaches and their treatment.

Dr. Sadeghi was also a clinical assistant professor during his time at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Headache Society, the National Headache Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sadeghi is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Persian.