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.
Chewing Ice Is Not Cool
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 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.
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!
Top image by Flickr user Simon_sees used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health care professionals with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.