Christopher D. Kooning DMD, PC
(503) 673-9097

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What Can Happen to Your Mouth if You Opt to Chew on Ice Cubes?

Posted on 10/10/2018 by Kooning Family Dentistry
What Can Happen to Your Mouth if You Opt to Chew on Ice Cubes?While your teeth are sturdy and are designed to chew hard things doing so on a regular basis can create problems for your oral health.

Whether it's a bad habit or you enjoy the feeling of ice cubes in your mouth, you could be harming your mouth and teeth.

Why You Crave Chewing on Ice Cubes

Believe it or not, there may be some underlying conditions that could explain why you have the urge to chew on ice cubes.

Among them are:

•  Stress or anxiety
•  Dehydration
•  Nutrition problems
•  Anemia

Also, a term called Pagophagia, a rare eating disorder called Pica. This illness is when someone regularly craves ice, and other mental diseases such as schizophrenia could accompany it.

Dental Problems from Chewing on Ice Cubes

The summer months are when many people crave cold drinks with lots of ice. This time also keeps our office very busy with patients who call because they injured their gums or teeth while chewing on a rock-hard piece of ice.

One of the problems with crushing ice with your teeth is that it can cause chips, cracks or even broken teeth. When this happens, it can be painful and warrants a visit to our office to fix the problem.

When you choose to chew on ice cubes, you can also be damaging the enamel, that outer layer of the tooth that keeps it pearly white and protects the tooth. A tooth with cracked enamel can be the beginning of decay because weakened enamel promotes bacteria growth, which can lead to gum disease or gingivitis.

It is not that you can't have ice with your drink in the summer or any other time, but we recommend that you let the ice melt slowly in your mouth. Let us know if you crave chewing on ice cubes because it could be due to an iron deficiency.

Christopher D. Kooning DMD, PC
(503) 673-9097

15962 Boones Ferry Rd, Suite 105
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

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