Hot weather brings in a lot of icy filled drinks. It might be hard to resist the frozen water cubes that skulk in your favorite cola. Another most desirable way of eating ice during the summers is water ice, also known as snow cones, snowballs, shave ice etc. But have you ever thought about the consequences?
Chewing ice can cause gum injury, destroy the enamel, increase sensitivity, and even tear your teeth. Irritation can persist in the jaw muscles and you may become more prone to cavities. You might enjoy chewing ice as there are no initial damage symptoms visible. However, your teeth might start to have tiny cracks (not visible to the naked eyes) which could gradually become severe.
Crushers and ice blenders are available to crush ice; teeth are not an option. Chewing of ice cubes can cause damage to your whites. According to the American Dental Association, chewing ice could be one of the reasons of tooth injury. If, however, the summers have taken a toll on you or you have formed a habit of chewing ice, the best you can do is to keep the cube in your mouth and let it melt; do not try to crush or chew it.
Iron Deficiency Anemia — Reason for Ice Craving
Besides the unbearable heat, craving for ice could be due to iron deficiency anemia. In medical terms, craving for ice or any other non-food items, such as chalk or dust, is known as pagophagia, a type of pica. It is said that pagophabia could be a symptom of iron deficiency anemia, which occurs due to lack of iron in the body. Stress and other imbalanced physical or mental conditions could also be the reasons for a person to suffer from pagophabia.
While craving for ice cubes, if you notice the following symptoms, you might be developing iron deficiency anemia; contact your doctor immediately.
- Weakness and fatigue
- Brittle nails
- Pale skin
- Irregular heartbeat
- Reduced appetite
- Cold hand and feet
- Tongue irritations – swelling or soreness
Some researchers anticipate that the brain might get better oxygenated blood due to the cold nudge provided by the little frozen ice cubes. For anemics, this could result in alertness, hence, they would stay awake and be focused for longer. However, the damage caused by the ice cubes cannot be neglected. Ice chewing can become addictive. So, crush it off before it crushes your teeth. Try a sugarless gum, or some vegetables and fruits to satisfy your craving needs. However, if you have been chewing ice since over a month and the craving isn’t coming down – consult a doctor.
If ice chewing has actually become a part of your daily regime, proper medical help can definitely take care of your health. Dental care can essentially repair the damage already done, and prevent from more.
Take care of your teeth, they are a part of your smile OR contact US. WE will take care of your beautiful smile – Dental Clinic Ottawa!
Call the Family Dental Care office in Ottawa today at 613-736-5000 to book a check-up with one of our hygienists.