During summer there are people who resort to chewing ice to beat the heat. It may provide a temporary cooling sensation. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and negative effects it can have on your oral health. Here are some potential consequences:
Ice is a hard substance, and regularly chewing on it can damage your teeth such as cracked or chipped teeth. The repetitive force exerted while crunching on ice can weaken tooth enamel over time, making teeth more susceptible to fractures.
Chewing ice can cause tooth sensitivity, particularly if the teeth are already compromised or if enamel erosion has occurred. Exposing sensitive tooth surfaces to extreme cold temperatures can lead to discomfort or pain.
If you have dental restorations like fillings, crowns, or veneers, chewing ice can increase the risk of damaging or dislodging these restorations. The force exerted while chewing on ice can put stress on these restorations, leading to their failure or necessitating repairs.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues
Frequent and forceful chewing of ice can strain the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull. This can contribute to TMJ disorders, causing symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty in jaw movement.
Oral health complications
Chewing ice may introduce a risk of developing oral health complications. People who chew ice excessively may develop gingivitis (gum inflammation), as the sharp edges of ice can irritate and damage gum tissue. Additionally, constantly exposing teeth to extreme cold temperatures can disrupt the natural balance of oral bacteria, potentially leading to oral infections.
To maintain optimal oral health, it is best to avoid chewing ice altogether. If you have an uncontrollable urge to chew on ice or experience difficulties in quitting this habit, it may be beneficial to consult a healthcare professional or call Fontana Dental Care to provide the best guidance and care for your teeth.