Posted on 7/10/2018 by Acree & Isenhower Family Dentistry
Do you love to crunch ice cubes in your mouth? While you might enjoy the satisfying sound of ice cubes collapsing under your teeth, you may be doing more harm to your mouth than you think. Chewing ice is actually bad for your teeth, plus it's actually an addiction!
It's Called Pica
Pica is an actual medical condition that includes more than just chewing ice. Those with pica feel the compulsion to chew on things that have no nutritional value. This includes ice, paper, chalk, and even dirt.
The condition has been compared to cigarette smoking, and there are a number of medical papers out there about pica. Fortunately, most people who have this condition chew on things that, while odd, aren't harmful to their digestive system.
It's Not Exactly Harmless, Though
While eating dirt, paper, and ice might not be harmful to your stomach, it is harmful to your teeth. Biting down on hard ice cubes can lead to a wide range of damage. You could chip or crack a tooth on a large or very hard piece of ice. You can damage the enamel on your teeth.
Chewing on ice can also damage your crowns, fillings, and other dental work. This type of damage may slowly open up your teeth to bacteria, leading to cavities and sensitivity.
How Can You Deal with Ice Chewing?
If you believe you have a compulsion to chew ice, one of the first things to do is to actually discuss it with a doctor. It's possible you're anemic or have some other medical condition that's causing you to crave ice.
The next thing to do is make an appointment to come see us so we can check up on any existing dental work and on the state of your teeth. Call us today if you're a chronic ice-chewer so we can help you with this condition.