Chewing on Ice Can Damage All Parts of Your Mouth

Chewing on Ice Can Damage All Parts of Your MouthA lot of people like to chew ice. For some of us, it takes us back to childhood, when we used to crunch ice from our slushies. While crunching ice may bring us memories of a happy childhood, in reality, crunching ice is not good for you. Crunching ice is really not good for our dental health.

In fact, crunching ice can cause significant damage to your entire mouth, not just your teeth. Not sure how that works? Keep reading. We can give you some information on why ice chewing is bad for your oral health.

Why Chewing Ice Cubes is Bad for Your Mouth

First, chewing ice puts a lot of pressure on your teeth. This is bad for your teeth, because while the spongy inside of your teeth is flexible, the enamel that covers your teeth is not. Chewing ice may not hurt your teeth the first time you do it, but over time, it can wear out the enamel just as if you’ve been grinding your teeth for months. Also, one wrong chomp on a piece of ice could result in a chip or a fracture in your tooth enamel.

Second, if you chew ice on a regular basis, you can cause wearing of your teeth as well, no matter how small the pieces are. This is because chewing ice causes a repetition of hot and cold cycles in your mouth. These hot and cold cycles mean that your tooth enamel is expanding and contracting between cycles. If your mouth has fillings, they expand and contract at a different rate than the enamel. These can lead to microcracks. Chewing ice can also reduce the life of your fillings.

Reasons You May Chew Ice

It has been found that low iron levels can create a desire to chew ice. Emotional stress and other nutritional issues may also play a role. If you can’t break the habit a trip to your physician may be in order.

Ice Can Harm Other Dental Components As Well

If you are one of the many adults who wear braces, or have partials, you need to know that chewing ice can damage these as well. Brackets can break, and wires can move when you chew ice. Pieces of metal or partial plates can break off and damage your teeth cheeks and tongue.

Also, because pieces of ice can be sharp, the shards can cut your gums, tongue, soft palate or cheek. If you have questions about chewing ice, why not give us a call? We would love to talk to you about your ice chewing habit.

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