Chew on This

Gum May Cause Kids' Migraines, Israeli Study Reveals

Tel Aviv University researchers find that a majority of subjects report significant relief after stopping to blow those bubbles.

Children and teenagers who experience tension headaches and migraines could find relief by not chewing gum, PsychCentral reported Sunday.

A study conducted by the Meir Medical Center at Tel Aviv University led by Dr. Nathan Watemberg found that out of 30 subjects tested, 26 reported significant improvement and 19 had complete headache resolution after stopping to blow those bubbles.

After a month without the gum, the 19 said the headaches went away entirely, while seven reported decrease. To test the results, 26 of them agreed to resume gum chewing for two weeks. All of them reported a return of their symptoms within days.

Dr. Watemberg noted that at the Meir Medical Center’s Child Neurology Unit and Child Development Center, many patients who complained of headaches were also daily gum chewers. When they stopped chewing, many found relief.

He said headaches are common among children, especially teenage girls, who are also frequent gum chewers. Headaches can become even more common during adolescence. common causes include stress, fatigue, video games, noise, smoking, missed meals and menstruation.

Watemberg said that by advising teenagers with chronic headaches to stop chewing gum, doctors can provide many of them with quick and effective treatment, without the need for expensive diagnostic tests or medications.