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Study: Chewing Gum Might Be Linked To Headaches In Children

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Children love to chew gum, but if they chew too long, it could cause more than tooth decay.

As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, a new study found that chewing gum might be to blame for chronic headaches in children.

“They asked kids to stop chewing gum for a period of time, and they saw that children who were chewing gum dramatically had a decrease in the amount of headaches that they were having,” said Dr. Kim Giuliano, a pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic.

In a study that was published in the journal Pediatric Neurology, researchers at Tel Aviv University studied 30 headache sufferers from ages 6 to 19. They were instructed to stop chewing gum for a month. Results show 26 of 30 reported imporvements in their headaches. Nineteen said their headaches disappeared completely.

Researchers say the overuse of a particular joint that helps the lower jaw move or a certain ingredient in the gum itself might be the cause, but more studies are needed.

Regardless, Giuliano said it’s worth a shot to spit out the gum as a way to decrease headaches without using medication.

“If your child does have frequent headaches and they are a frequent gum chewer, I certainly think it warrants taking a trial off of the gum,” she said. “It’s doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to help your child.”

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