05 Mar Is Chewing Ice Really Bad For Your Teeth?
Your teeth are very strong, but with continuous impact from chewing on ice, they can suffer from fractures or in the very least result in decay and enamel loss. Visits to the dentist will reveal the signs, but it is up to you to end a habit that can literally cost you your teeth.
Why do people feel compelled to chew on ice?
Munching on ice can become habit forming. There is actually a name for it … pagophagia, which is part of a group of habits known as pica (the need to chew on something with no nutritional value). This can be due to anemia or a vitamin or mineral deficiency that should be checked out.
Some people may turn to ice to break another habit, like smoking. Others may use it as a diet tool; to relieve stress; break the monotony of completing a boring task; or as a solution for a dry mouth.
What can possibly happen to my teeth from chewing on ice?
Ice chewing can lead to costly and time consuming treatment. Existing fillings are not as strong as biological teeth. If you should fracture a previous dental repair like a filling, bacteria can penetrate the tooth leading to the need for a root canal, followed by a dental crown. This involves multiple trips to the dentist and each procedure requires a substantial financial investment.
Enamel is the strong protective covering on teeth. You can literally wear enamel away; and once it is gone, it does not grow back. The surfaces of your teeth need enamel to help protect them from decay.
Even though your teeth are very strong, they are not invincible. A fractured tooth may be crowned, but who would want a mouthful of dental repairs and crowns? Everyone that makes chewing ice a regular occurrence is gambling with their dental health.
Drink water especially if you chew ice to combat a dry mouth. Consider adding fresh fruit or sugar free flavoring to make it more appealing.
Chew sugar free gum.
Keep healthy, crunchy alternatives like carrots, celery, or apple slices accessible.
Like many other negative habits, breaking this one might be difficult. But when you consider the alternative, it might be worth your while to investigate ways to overcome the need to chew ice. Our dental team is available to help, so call us at the office of Dr. Kozlow today.