Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Dangers Of Chewing Ice

After you drink that refreshing Ice Coffee on that warm day the ice clinks around in the cup. The tempting nature of the “tink, tink” sound of the ice cubes is calling your name and before you think about it, you have begun to chew on the ice. However, according to Dr. Judith Strutz, “This is a very damaging habit that can impact your smile and cause you thousands of dollars to fix.”

The medical term for individuals that chew ice is called pagophagia.  It is part of a smaller medical term called Pica. Pica is a medical condition where individuals have a compulsion to eat food items that lack nutritional value.  While you are responding to a desire to chew on ice, what you may not realize is that you have a medical condition. For example, you may have an iron deficiency.  

Iron deficiencies that are left untreated can result in fatigue. Iron carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. Less oxygen in the body can reduce your ability to think clearly and solve those problems at work. While you may believe that grabbing that cup of ice can help replenish it, it is not a positive solution.

When you constantly chew on ice you are creating a hot-cold cycle in your mouth. This change in temperature can cause tiny fractures on your teeth, which can eventually lead to great damage to fillings and your overall tooth structure.

Furthermore, your gums are very sensitive and require protection. While chewing on a sharp piece of ice you can actually puncture the gums. This open hole in the mouth is then susceptible to bacteria as food particles are chewed.

One easy suggestion: if you are addicted to chewing on ice, try sugarless gum.

And of course, let your dentist or dental hygienist know so they can also help you come up with other solutions.

No comments:

Post a Comment