Ask a Family Dentist: Is Chewing Ice Bad for Your Teeth?

Family Dentist Greensboro, NC

There are many reasons you might chew on ice, but your family dentist might not want you to. Part of the reason is that it can damage the teeth. It would help if you thought about the damage you might expose your teeth to before chewing on ice. Some alternatives might be better for you.

Wearing down the enamel

Chewing on ice can start to wear down the teeth’s enamel. The enamel keeps the teeth healthy and better protected from grinding. The enamel also protects the teeth from crunching and biting. However, if it was down, it can lead to cavities, tooth damage, or sensitivity.

Problems with fillings

When the ice goes into the mouth, the fillings can become more extensive. When that happens, the fillings might not last for as long. Chewing on ice might cause the fillings to come out. Then the patient would have to get a new one placed in the mouth.

Damaging to the gumline

The gums and other soft tissues can quickly become damaged by the sharp edges of the ice. That can then damage or puncture the tissue. The gums are already at risk when the patient eats food each day. That means there is not a need to make things worse.

Cracking the teeth

It is not a good idea to chew on hard things since these might lead to cracks in the teeth. When the patient bites on the ice, there is a lot of pressure placed on the teeth. The mouth might not be able to take that load. Sometimes, the patient might have some fractures in the teeth from chewing on ice too much. That could result in a more significant fracture. Then, the patient would need to have a root canal or other treatment.

Leading to toothaches or headaches

Chewing on ice might lead to other problems too. When the jaw has to move so much to chew on a crunchy or hard frost, the patient might get a headache. There could also be jaw issues, such as soreness. The patient could also have a brain freeze as a result.

The reasons for chewing on ice

Patients might feel the need to chew on ice because of health problems, such as stress or nutrition issues. Obsessive-compulsive issues could also factor into the situation. Common issues could include iron deficiency. Feeling the need to chew on ice might help people be a bit more alert. Being cold could move more oxygen to the brain, reducing inflammation that comes from low iron.

Visit a family dentist today for the right care

If you feel that you need to chew on ice, you might want to try a couple of different alternatives that your family dentist can suggest. That can be better for the teeth, and it can also reduce the need for treatments at a family dentist. Having slushies or cold drinks can both satisfy the urge for something cold. And for patients who like to chew on something, sugar-free gum can be helpful. It is a good idea to avoid using it too much, however.

Request an appointment here: or call J David Civils DDS at (336) 387-7944 for an appointment in our Greensboro office.

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