Oral Health Group

Chewing Gum Linked to Headaches

June 17, 2014
by Kahaliah Richards

An interesting study and findings regarding a link between headaches and gum chewing has come from Tel Aviv University. The article was published in Pediatric Neurology and looked at 30 patients between 6 and 19 with chronic headache and who were big gum chewers. The patients were told to stop chewing gum. After 1 month, nineteen of the patients had their headache go away and 7 additional patients in the group had a decrease in the severity and frequency of their headaches. Twenty six of the patients were then told to go back to chewing gum like they used to and they all said their previous symptoms returned within days.

The researchers speculate that temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction may be the likely trigger at bay. The researchers believe that TMJ overuse is causing the headaches. Other possibilities were suggested such as aspartame commonly found in chewing gum but many other products contain aspartame and don’t have a clear link with headaches. The researchers believe that if teenagers are suffering from chronic headaches and chew gum a lot, they should stop chewing gum and see if their symptoms resolve. This way expensive tests and other treatments can first be avoided.

Other triggers for headaches include noise, lack of sleep, being tired, having stress, menstruation, sunlight, and video games. Now chewing gum frequently can also be added to the list. Perhaps dentists may play a role with headaches with their patients or have further thoughts on how overuse of the TMJ can lead to headaches.


Nathan Watemberg, Manar Matar, Miki Har-Gil, Muhammad Mahajnah. The Influence of Excessive Chewing Gum Use on Headache Frequency and Severity Among Adolescents. Pediatric Neurology, 2013.

To read more onthis stories and more like this please visit: http://blog.teethremoval.com/chewing-gum-linked-to-headaches/.

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