Why does the dentist always say not to chew ice? It’s a habit that can seriously and irreparably harm the teeth and gums. Let’s take a deeper look at what chewing ice can do to oral health and why individuals do it, as even when ice-chewers are aware of this, they may still find it difficult to stop.
What Damage Can Chewing Ice Cause?
Ice eating is so widespread that it has a medical term: pagophagia. For others, this issue is more than just a poor habit; it is a sign of pica, a psychiatric condition that causes compulsive eating of vast quantities of non-food substances like dirt, mud, hair, or ice. Sometimes a lack of nourishment is the culprit. Why is chewing ice a bad habit? Here are a few reasons:
- Chewing ice can damage your enamel: Ice is a rigid material. Thus, chewing on it regularly can cause tooth enamel damage. Ice chewing habits can also cause enamel wear and tear. The enamel, which serves as the teeth’s outermost layer of defense, cannot regenerate after being harmed.
- Increased risk of tooth fractures: The danger of tooth fractures or chipping rises due to the constant, forceful chewing of ice. This may lead to discomfort, sensitivity, and the requirement for fillings or crowns, among other dental treatments.
- Temporarily numbed nerves: The nerves in your teeth may get momentarily numbed when you chew ice, giving you the impression that it is risk-free. It doesn’t always follow that damage isn’t happening underneath the surface.
- Gum irritation: Gum inflammation or damage can result from chewing on ice because it irritates the delicate gum tissue. Gum recession and an elevated risk of gum disease can result from this.
- Sensitive teeth: Your teeth may become more sensitive to hot or cold meals and beverages if you often eat ice, which can be painful and uncomfortable.
- Increased risk of dental problems: Due to tooth damage and fractures brought on by chewing ice, there is a more significant chance that one may eventually require dental care, such as fillings, root canals, or extractions.
- Risk of dental emergencies: It is more likely that you may experience a dental emergency when chewing ice, such as a fractured tooth or abscess, which may require rapid medical treatment.
Chewing ice can place additional stress on dental restorations like fillings or crowns, which might cause them to fail or get dislodged. When you chew ice, you could continue bad oral behaviors like grinding your teeth or using your teeth as tools, both of which can destroy your teeth and other oral structures. When chewing on firm ice, there is a higher chance of inadvertently biting down on a piece, resulting in a dental emergency or choking hazard if a piece breaks off suddenly.
If Chewing Ice Has Led to Dental Complications, Let Kids World Pediatric Help!
Quit damaging the ice! Make an appointment at Kids World Pediatric Dental by calling (210) 787-1200 to safeguard your child’s smile against the damaging consequences of ice chewing. Ice chewing might result in tooth problems that are difficult to resolve. To find out how much damage chewing ice has caused, call us or go to kidswordpediatricdental.com.