Teenage Chronic Headaches – 1/2 Might Be Chewing Gum

Isreali article found in teeenagers with chronic headaches, 19/30 cases resolved by quiting gum chewing

The Influence of Excessive Chewing Gum Use on Headache Frequencyand Severity Among Adolescents
Nathan Watemberg, Manar Matar, Miki Har-Gil, Muhammad Mahajnah
Pediatr Neurol 2014; 50: 69-72


  • 25/30 were girls
  • 16 averqge age
  • 26/30 noted improvement with stopping chewing – 19/30 resolved
  • all 20 of these cases who restatred chewing had recurrence of headaches within days of restarting
  • 24/30 chewed more than 1 hour/day
  • 1/2 had family Hx migraines
  • TMJ strain thought cause though aspartame reaction was mentioned.
  • Common adult triggers – “Stress was most common, followed by hormones in women, not eating, weather, sleep disturbance, perfume or odor, neck pain, light(s), alcohol, smoke, sleeping late, heat, food, exercise, and sexual activity.”
  • Additional childhood triggers – video games, noise, exposure to smoke, school book reading.  Specific foods and drinks, particularly chocolate, alcoholic drinks, and cheese


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