Why Do We Get Brain Freeze While Eating Ice Cream?

Why Do We Get Brain Freeze While Eating Ice Cream?

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia literally means "nerve pain of the sphenopalatine ganglion," referring to the nerves at the roof of your mouth. When this nerve bundle perceives an extreme drop in temperature, it signals the brain to constrict the blood vessels in the head. The vessels then dilate again, and it's this change in blood flow that is thought to cause the signature pain. Research has demonstrated a connection between ice cream headaches and migraine headaches: it seems that if you experience migraines, you're also more likely to experience brain freeze.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    A brain freeze is triggered when something cold touches the back of the roof of your mouth, causing the blood vessels in your head to rapidly constrict. (0:28)

  • 2

    Here's how to make an ice cream headache go away faster: (2:06)

  • 3

    Soft-serve ice cream was developed by a team of British chemists, who increased the amount of air in the dessert. (3:18)

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