It's a habit many people have and not only can it be annoying to the people around you, it can be detrimental to your dental health. Chewing ice is so common that it even has its own name, pagophagia. We're not talking about a slushy or shaved ice (although those artificially sugary treats should be avoided too!) but more like the hunks of ice rattling around in the bottom of your glass.
Ice chewing can be a sign of emotional problems like stress or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it can also be a marker for iron deficiency anemia and other physical problems. Then again, some people just like to have something to chew on. For whatever reason you find yourself chewing on it, it's a habit you need to break.
Chewing on ice can cause:
- Chipped and cracked teeth
- Damaged enamel
- Sore jaw muscles
- Damage to dental work such as crowns, fillings, or other appliances
If chewing on ice is becoming a problem in your life, don’t hesitate to speak with Dr. McCarthy about it. But if you find yourself still wanting to chew on something, here are a few alternatives to ice:
- Baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Sugar-free (xylitol) gum
We know you need to chill sometimes, but chomping down your entire glass of ice is not the way to do it. If you have any other questions on the topic, feel free to talk with a member of our Camarillo, CA team. It may be beneficial in solving the issue and helping to remediate any damage to your teeth.