Ice Cravings: Bad for Your Teeth? A Sign Of Something More?
DO YOU EVER WONDER WHY many people enjoy chewing their leftover ice after finishing a nice refreshing drink? It may surprise you to learn that the cool crunch of the ice may not be the only thing drawing people to chew those last few cubes. As a dentist, I should know better, but I’m a serious ice chewer. I love some good leftover pebble ice. Just looking at the image of the ice in the cup above makes we want to chew some ice.
Chewing Ice Is Not Cool For Your Teeth
Many enjoy chomping down on those last few ice cubes at the bottom of their glass, but is it really that bad for your dental health? Absolutely!
Ice is an incredibly hard substance, and when pitted against teeth it can do serious damage to our enamel. Repeated grinding against ice and other hard substances can result in enamel cracking and erosion. Because enamel has no living cells, the body cannot repair any chips or cracks on its own—they will require enamel restoration treatments.
Ice Cravings May Be Caused By More Than Preference
Ice cravings are fairly common–especially among expecting mothers–but not all of these cravings are driven by enjoyment alone. The compulsive consumption of ice, known as pagophagia, has recently been linked to anemia—a lack of iron in the blood.
Anemia can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. But don’t worry, if diagnosed by a doctor, anemia is easily treatable with daily iron supplements. Scientists still aren’t sure why the link between chewing ice and anemia exists, but many suspect it may the body’s natural response to relieve oral inflammation caused by anemia.
We Care About Your Whole Body Health
Excessive ice cravings affect far more than just your teeth. We care about far more than just the health of your smile! If you or someone you care about has questions about ice cravings and how they affect your health, feel free to set an appointment or leave a comment below! We’d love to work with you to ensure that not only your smile is healthy, but your whole body as well.
Thank you for being a valued patient and friend!