Habitual ice chewing is fairly common. Many people use it as a method to alleviate dry-mouth and curb snacking. While this behavior may seem harmless (and rather refreshing!), the truth is that chewing on ice can wreak havoc on your teeth. Here’s how.
- Broken teeth. Ice may just be frozen water, but unlike water, it is not good for the enamel of your teeth. You wouldn’t nibble on rocks because you know that doing so would definitely cause damage? Ice can have the same effect!
- Damaged fillings. Repetitively chewing on ice creates a “hot-cold” pattern in the mouth that causes the enamel to expand and contract. This is risky business when you have fillings, because they tend to expand more quickly than teeth.
- Injured gums. Ice can be sharp and tiny shards puncture gums, causing pain and vulnerability to gum disease.
- Tooth sensitivity. As ice breaks down the enamel and dentin of the tooth, a person will experience increased sensitivity to very hot and very cold foods and drinks.
How to Stop
Do you have an inexplicable urge to chew on ice? Contact a doctor and/or a mental health professional to address the source of the problem. Medical attention will preserve the health of your body and your mouth!
If you chew on ice and are experiencing any of the aforementioned ill-effects (broken teeth, painful gums, sensitive teeth or damaged fillings), contact Vacendak Dentistry. We can help reverse the effects, soothe pain and put you on the path to better oral health. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.