Ice Chewing: Why You Should Kick the Habit
We all know someone who asks for extra ice just so they can chew on it. And we’ve probably all heard that chewing ice is not healthy for your teeth. So what’s the truth? Is it best to put a stop to ice chewing? Absolutely, and for more reasons than most people are aware of. Dr. Ochsner wants all Onalaska, WI residents to know why chewing ice is a bad habit, so please read on for the facts!
Why should I stop chewing ice?
Ice is hard. So hard, in fact, that pitting it against your teeth regularly will most certainly result in damage to your enamel. If you have pagophagia (the fancy name for ice cravings), it’s likely that Dr. Ochsner will need to perform enamel restoration treatments, which are pricey and can be quite uncomfortable.
However, that is not the most pressing reason to be aware of an ice chewing habit. Recent research indicates that pagophagia may actually be a sign of anemia (a lack of iron in the blood), which can lead to serious health complications, if left untreated. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why the link exists, but they suspect it may be due to the oral inflammation caused by anemia. Such inflammation could conceivably spark an urge to seek relief in the form of ice.
Is ice chewing really a ‘thing’?
It definitely is. Hardcore ice enthusiasts keep ice by their side all day long, and may even put away multiple pounds of the stuff each day. If you still think this is doubtful, check it out online and you will find that there is an entire community of ice lovers and ice-chewing websites.
How do I know if I am enjoying ice for the wrong reasons?
With a simple blood test, your doctor can tell you if you are an anemic ice chewer seeking the soothing cold of a good ice cube. And if you are, don’t panic! Anemia is easily treatable with daily iron supplements.
Once you have that taken care of, come see Dr. Ochsner for a check-up and he’ll take of any enamel damage that your ice chewing may have caused. If you have questions, call us at Neighborhood Smiles anytime! And remember to order that drink WITHOUT ice next time!