Ask a Family Dentist: Is Chewing Ice Bad?

Posted on: May 4, 2020

family dentist Carmel, IN

If you are one of the people who habitually chew on ice, you might want to hear what a family dentist has to say about that habit. Teeth are the strongest part of your body, but they were not designed to bite down on hard things like ice or fingernails.

A family dentist explains why chewing ice is bad

According to a family dentist, chewing down on ice can lead to teeth enamel becoming damaged. Damaged enamel leaves teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay since the enamel serves as a protective barrier. Once it is gone, the inner layers on teeth, which are not as durable, become exposed to the acids and oral bacteria in the mouth.

As a result, cavities will begin to form on teeth surfaces and they will get bigger until they are treated with fillings or lead to severe damage to the tooth. Enamel that has been worn down by biting on hard things habitually also leads to increased tooth sensitivity.

Why people chew on ice

Some people eat ice as a way to get relief from the symptoms of dry mouth. Others do it as a way to cool down on a hot day. Health conditions that can lead to a person craving ice include:

  • Pagophagia: This condition might be caused by emotional issues or nutritional deficiencies. It leads to the person craving ice. These cravings can last for months at a time. It is a condition that can affect children and adults
  • Iron deficiency: There has been some research that indicates iron deficiency might lead to craving ice. The reasons why this occurs are yet to be determined. People who are iron deficient usually have lower levels of healthy red blood cells. These cells play a very important role transporting oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, pale skin, swollen tongue, chest pain, cold hands and feet, breathlessness and feeling lightheaded
  • Emotional problems: Certain emotional issues like being stressed out can cause some people to crave ice. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is another health condition that can lead to compulsive behaviors like chewing on ice
  • Poor nutrition: Poor nutrition is another reason why some people have ice cravings. For example, some people who chew on ice add flavored syrups to them. For such people, their ice cravings are really sugar cravings
  • Dehydration: Being dehydrated can also lead to chewing on ice. The habit has a cooling effect and it makes a dry mouth feel better. It can also help to lower a person's body temperature on a hot day. Symptoms of dehydration include dark-colored urine, thirst and feeling dizzy in more severe cases

Get past your bad habit

A dentist can help you to figure out why you have cravings to chew on ice and perform treatments to fix any of your teeth that have already been damaged. Treatments like composite resins and crowns can be used to restore damaged enamel. Call or visit our Carmel clinic to learn more about how ice damages your teeth.

Request an appointment here: https://www.carmelsmilesdentist.com or call Smiles in the Village Dentistry at (317) 200-3679 for an appointment in our Carmel office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.


Related Posts

August 1, 2020

Smile Makeover Aftercare Tips From A General Dentist - Teeth Whitening

After a smile makeover procedure, it is only normal for individuals to want the results to last as long as possible. Before leaving the office, the dentist will provide some aftercare tips to help keep …

July 22, 2020

What Happens During a Teeth Straightening Treatment?

Teeth straightening is a popular tool for patients who want to improve the look of the smile and increase the ability to keep teeth healthy and clean. Although many patients seek straighter teeth for cosmetic …

July 1, 2020

4 Tips to Avoid a Broken Tooth From an Emergency Dentist

For the worst dental problems, you can seek help from an emergency dentist. Broken teeth are among the most common issues that these dentists treat. If this happens to you, it is nice to know …

June 22, 2020

Ask a General Dentist: Do I Need a Crown for My Chipped Tooth?

If you have a broken or chipped tooth, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can. You should not wait for a long time because the problem can get worse. Waiting can lead …