Healthy Stuff We Heart

Is bubblegum giving you a headache? Science says yes


All it takes is one familiar twinge in your forehead to totally derail your plans for the day. From hanging with friends to plowing through your homework, there’s a whole lot that suddenly becomes impossible when you have a headache. And for those who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, the pain is magnified. Yowtch.

 

There’s some good news on the horizon though, hunnies—and it doesn’t have anything to do with a new drug (and a crazy long list of side effects). Scientists have been curious about the effects of chewing gum on chronic conditions like headaches, so some researchers pulled together a small study of 30 adolescents to see what happens when the gum-obsessed group (who also experienced chronic headaches) were told to put aside the Double Bubble for a whole month.

 

After 30 days of no gum, 87 percent of the patients reported significant improvement in the headaches. And the 20 who went back to chewing gum after the study was over saw their symptoms return. Hmm…

 

While the study doesn’t offer an explanation as to why chewing gum would affect headache symptoms, researchers tend to think it has something to do with all that chewing and the stress it places on your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). That joint functions as a hinge, so when you’re spending hours chewing away, you’re constantly forcing that joint to open and close. That sort of continual jaw strain can lead to a headache.

 

Read more about the study here.

 

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 1/2/2014 12:00:00 AM

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