With the coming summer season, ice becomes one of the favorite things to beat the summer heat and people can be seen chewing ice. Though many dentist’s advice to place ice but only after certain procedures like tooth extractions or some periodontal surgical procedures and not regularly.
Let us see how chewing ice can affect your oral health.
Reasons behind Chewing Ice:
There might be many reasons for chewing ice. Few and most common are:
Iron deficiency anemia
Habitual chewing like to overcome boredom.
Chewing Ice for Enamel And Dentin:
Due to extreme force applied while chewing, there can be chipping of tooth enamel thereby leading to exposure of dentin. This whole procedure in turn can cause tooth sensitivity. Also chewing ice drastically decreases the oral temperature thereby causing or bringing cracks in the enamel. This in turn weakens your teeth or may cause the previous filling to fail.
Mechanism behind This Detrimental Effect:
Since the temperature inside the mouth is warm and as soon as the saliva comes in contact with ice, there are chances that nothing could happen but in 10% cases, this drastic change in the oral environment can bring about damage to the nerves of the tooth and you might require a root canal therapy (RCT).
Effect on Gums:
As some pieces of ice might be sharp and thus can cause laceration of the gums thereby leading to bleeding from the gums. It can also cause gum recession thereby exposing the root.
Sometimes you might have seen that people develop the habit of chewing ice. If you have the same urge, than you should not take in lightly and immediately visit your nearby dental clinic as this habit is called PICA. In this condition, people could not abstain themselves from chewing things with zero nutritional value for e.g. Ice, small rock particles etc.
Few studies have shown that people with iron deficiency anemia are more likely to develop this type of habit.
Effect on Braces:
If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, than chewing ice is highly contra-indicated as it can cause wire to loosen or brackets to break and thus the treatment might not be effective and you might end up in relapse.
How to Overcome This Habit:
This first thing is to find out the reason behind this habit and then going to the root cause of that thing and likewise eliminating it.
Some alternative reasons to overcome this habit is just to suck the ice and not to chew. If this habit is due to iron deficiency, than you might be advised to go for iron tablets.