Spheno Palatine Gangleonerualgia

Kim McCrady

Kim McCrady RDH BA

Spheno Palatine Gangleonerualgia

Spheno Palatine Gangleoneuralgia!  Now that’s a mouthful.  But believe it or not, most everyone has experienced spheno patlatine gangleoneuralgia at one time or another.  In fact, as scary as the condition sounds, its uncomfortable but harmless.

So, what causes spheno palatine gangleoneuralgia?  It is the rapid release of blood back to the brain back from the palate after something very cold has been present in the mouth and contacted the roof of the mouth.  This results in a sharp uncomfortable headache.  Fortunately, the headache does not last long.  Have you figured it out yet?  What is spheno palatine gangleoneuralgia?  If you guessed a good old fashioned brain freeze, you are correct.

The roof of our mouths are made up of a hard area, referred to as the hard palate.  Your hard palate is located toward the front of the mouth and extends to the about the middle of the second molars.  It is hard because there are three bones that fused together as you grew to create the hard palate.  The soft palate is located just behind the hard palate and continues down into the throat area.  It is soft because there are no bones present.  The brain freeze according to recent studies is caused by an intense and sudden increase in blood flow through the brain’s anterior cerebral artery due to dilation of the artery.  When the artery constricted, the brain-freeze pain sensation wears off.


Of course, allowing your cold treat a moment to warm up before it contacts your palate is a start to preventing brain freeze.  But, if your brain freeze is underway the quicker you can warm your palate the quicker the headache will recede.  Cupping you hand like a mask around your mouth and breathing in and out into your cupped hand helps to warm the palate.  As well has pressing your tongue or thumb on the roof of the mouth can shorten that headache. The goal is to prevent the blood vessels in your palate from constricting and dilating due to extreme changes in temperature.

Next time you are in need of a conversation starter, consider asking your friends if they have ever experienced spheno palatine gangleoneuralgia.

Medical News Today:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244458.php

Discovery Fit and Health: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244458.php

Photo: http://robjundt.hubpages.com/hub/Brain-Freeze-Adventures

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