We all have chewed ice at some point, right? Maybe you had finished your drink and on seeing some leftover ice inside your glass, you couldn’t resist that mischievous childishness inside you. Or maybe it was a hot day and you just wanted to take a cool bite. Anyway, you took a bite of that glossy ice cube, and what followed was not that cool, right?
Chewing ice is a common habit and lots of people have done that. It’s one of the worst things that you could do to your teeth; but why is it so bad? The answer is that ice is very hard and our teeth are not made to break the ice and chew it. By breaking the ice, enamel starts wearing away and it does not grow back, leading to many dental problems.
Causes and Effects of Chewing Ice
Now you might be eating ice compulsively and that craving doesn’t go away. If that’s the case then this could be a sign of iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia, when left untreated, could cause severe health issues like heart problems and growth problems. It can also cause problems in pregnant women, resulting in the delivery of premature babies and low-weight babies.
Another possible effect of compulsive ice eating is dry mouth or xerostomia. Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition in which your salivary gland doesn’t produce enough saliva. Saliva is necessary to keep your mouth moist, for swallowing and cleansing your teeth, etc. Frequent dry mouth could cause you bad breath, taste disorders, increased thirst, frequent sore throat, etc.
One of the most unnoticed causes for the craving of chewing ice is pica which is an eating disorder. People affected with pica compulsively intake non-food items which include the likes of ice, paper, clay, ash, etc. Intake of such items can cause infections, poisoning, or even choking. It can also cause small tears in the intestine and other related intestinal problems.
Two Tips to Help Prevent Ice Chewing
- Do not tempt yourself by putting ice in your drink. This way, you won’t end up chewing ice after you finish the drink.
- If you don’t like to drink without that cool crunchy touch, replace ice with cold vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, or apples. They give the same cool crunchy feeling without damaging your teeth.
If you wish to consult an expert, then welcome to Covington Signature Dentistry. Come visit us at 27121 174th Place SE, Suite 202, Covington, WA 98042. Call us at (253) 638-9955 for appointments.