Why Do I Get Brain Freeze When I Eat Ice Cream?


Image result for brain freeze cartoonIt’s one of those signs of summer: You’re happily eating an ice cream cone when whammy! The icy cold snakes up your teeth, seemingly into your brain. Ice cream brain freezes hurt! Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center neuroscientist Dwayne Godwin explains everything you ever wanted to know about brain freezes. What is ice cream brain freeze? That painful feeling you get when you quickly eat or drink something that is icy cold actually has a medical term: sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Why does a brain freeze happen? It’s your body’s way of putting on the brakes, telling you to slow down and take it easy. “Brain freeze is really a type of headache that is rapid in onset, but rapidly resolved as well,” says Godwin. “Our mouths are highly vascularized, including the tongue — that’s why we take our temperatures there. But drinking a cold beverage fast doesn’t give the mouth time to absorb the cold very well.” How to cure a brain freeze: Immediately stop drinking the icy cold beverage and jam your tongue up to the roof of your mouth. Your tongue is warm and will help normalize the temperature in your mouth.