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What causes Brain Freeze?

 

Ever heard of sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia?

That’s the scientific term for “brain freeze”; that unpleasant pain you might feel in your head after eating some ice cream or inhaling your milkshake too fast. 

We have capillaries that dilate to ensure we have effective blood flow to the areas of our bodies that we’re using, in this case, our mouth/tongue.

When this happens to our hard palate, pain receptors also flair up.

Sometimes when we have multiple signals going to our brains about our bodies, in this case, pain, wires can get crossed and we feel that “pain” in a different location to where it’s actually happening, just like when you feel pain in your left arm during a heart attack. 

So, can we stop it?

Next time you get brain freeze, try pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

This helps to increase blood flow, warm up the area, and dull the pain. You can also try drinking a warm drink or breathing warm air through your nose and mouth.  

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