When eating cold ice cream, a sense of ‘tooth pain’, even headache can occur.
This is also called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
There are 2 theories behind this phenomenon:
1. Blood vessel phenomenon: blood vessels constrict when any part of the body is exposed to cold temperature and dilates when it gets hot. This simple fact can be applied to the biological cause of ‘brain freeze’ as well. Upon contact with ice, the blood vessels in the roof of the mouth begin to constrict, making the vessels in the head to expand, and thus creating a headache.
2. Trigeminal nerve factor: the trigeminal nerve (V) is responsible for facial sensation. As a result of eating cold foods, this nerve in the palate of the mouth becomes overstimulated. Stimulation of the nerve causes neurons to fire pain signals to the brain, producing a headache.
Treatment: drink warm fluid or just wait till it passes.