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Is Chewing Gum to Blame for Headaches in Kids?

Gum chewing is a common habit for both adults and adolescents.  Although chewing gum can provide dental benefits like whitening and aid in the prevention of tooth decay, research has shown that chewing gum may not be as beneficial as once thought.  Many would not think to relate gum chewing with prolonged headaches.  However, recent research has begun to elucidate the correlation between the two.

Dr. Nathan Watemberg of Tel Aviv University and Meir Medical Center looked at the relationship between frequent gum chewing and headaches specifically in adolescents.  He focused on a group of patients between the ages of 6 and 19 who both reported chronic migraines or headaches and chewed gum on a daily basis.  Once the group of adolescents quit gum chewing entirely, almost 90% of the group reported decreased frequency and intensity in headaches and more than half of the group reported that their headaches completely disappeared.

There are a few theories that seek to to explain why gum chewing might cause headaches.  For one, the physical act of prolonged chewing causes stress to an area of the head where the jaw is connected to the skull.  Alternatively, some researchers believe that the artificial sweetener used in some types of gum is the culprit.

Regardless of the reason, it seems that forgoing gum chewing may alleviate the debilitating effects of daily headaches in adolescents.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/5097.aspx?currentTab=2

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219130937.htm

Image credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01775/gum_1775702c.jpg

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