For years, dentists have been warning that chewing gum containing sugar can increase the chances of developing a cavity. That’s because when we chew gum, sugars are released onto our teeth and cause tooth decay.
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Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) January 17, 2014
Main Street Dental Team (MainStreetDentalTeam.com), Unionville’s first full-time dental clinic, is weighing in on a recent study that shows chewing gum is often responsible for migraine and tension headaches in teens.
“For years, dentists have been warning that chewing gum containing sugar can increase the chances of developing a cavity. That’s because when we chew gum, sugars are released onto our teeth and cause tooth decay,” says Dr. Harvey Schwartz, owner of Main Street Dental Team. “Now there’s compelling evidence to show that chewing gum is responsible for migraine headaches in teens and younger children.”
While typical triggers of migraine headaches are stress, a lack of sleep, video games, noise, sunlight, smoking, and missed meals (and common causes of stress headaches can be similar), recent data suggest there is a link between gum chewing and headaches. The researchers found that children and adolescents reporting migraine and tension headaches who chewed gum regularly reported significantly improved symptoms after they stopped chewing gum. (Source: Watemberg, N., et al., “The Influence of Excessive Chewing Gum Use on Headache Frequency and Severity Among Adolescents,” Pediatric Neurology, January 2014; 50(1): 69-72; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24188910.)
The study results show that gum’s link to migraine and tension headaches is less about how many pieces a person chews or for how long they chew and more about the habit of gum chewing.
“While aspartame has been reported as one possible link between headaches and chewing gum, the researches said the amount of aspartame released in gum was likely to be low, since gum loses its flavour after just a few minutes,” Dr. Schwartz adds. “If aspartame did cause headaches, there would be more reported headaches as a result of diet drinks and artificially sweetened products.”
The researchers concluded that gum chewing causes stress to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the point where the jaw meets the skull. People who chew gum long after the taste is gone put a significant burden on the TMJ, which, the study points out, is already the most used joint in the body and can cause headaches from overuse.
“Although further research needs to be done on the correlation between chewing gum, migraine and tension headaches, and the TMJ, if anyone experiences jaw pain or TMJ symptoms, they should refrain from chewing gum and talk to their dentist,” Dr. Schwartz concludes.
Main Street Dental Team was established in 1967 and became the first full-time dental practice in the Unionville community. Main Street Dental Team provides a full range of dental services for everyone from children to seniors, including preventive dentistry, restorative/cosmetic dentistry, ultimate smile makeovers, dental Implants, surgery, full and partial dentures, and treatment for gum disease. To better serve the needs of Unionville’s growing population, Main Street Dental Team’s staff also speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. To learn more about Main Street Dental Team, visit the web site at http://www.MainStreetDentalTeam.com.