About Me

Den's Dental Blog

Hello! My name is Den. This blog is going to cover a range of dental topics. I am not a dentist or a dental nurse but I have recently undergone a lot of dental treatment. This treatment has given me a great insight into the world of dentistry and I would like to share everything I have learnt with you here. Last year, I developed terrible pain in my mouth. I was diagnosed with severe tooth decay. The dentist removed the problem teeth and then inserted false ones in their place. He also whitened my teeth to improve my smile. I hope you find my blog useful.


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Den's Dental Blog

The Chilling Truth about Chewing Ice: Why Chewing Ice is Bad for Your Teeth

by Myrtle Banks

Everyone has a bad habit or two that they have somehow developed over time, such as biting their finger nails, tapping their feet or chewing ice. Many of these habits even have names and, through research, have been connected to other conditions that might exist. The desire to chew ice; for example, is referred to as "pagophagia", and has been linked to a deficiency in iron or calcium.

However, whether you chew ice regularly or not, you should be aware that although enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is also very brittle. This makes it prone to cracking and breaking, especially in people over the age of forty, when teeth are weaker.

If you have a habit of chewing ice, a friend or relative may have already warned you about the danger to your teeth. Their concerns are justified. Read on to learn just how deadly ice can be to your teeth.

You Exert Massive Force While Chewing

The muscles of your jaw can exert from 150 to 270 lbs of pressure per square inch while you are chewing. This massive force alone exerted against a solid chunk of ice, not once or twice, but over and over, means that while the ice tends to lose this battle of compression; eventually, your teeth may come out on the losing side.

This Force is Combined with Temperature Fluctuations

When this force is combined with temperature fluctuations; which cause teeth to expand and contract, the risk of fracture becomes even greater. For chronic ice-chewers over the age of forty, it may only be a matter of time before a tooth fractures.

Hairline Fractures Will Worsen over Time

While occasionally chewing ice shouldn't be a problem, the constant pressure exerted on teeth while regularly chewing ice will eventually take its toll on your teeth. At first, the damage will occur in the form of hairline fractures that spread out over the surface of the affected tooth (usually a premolar or molar), gradually weakening its structure. Finally, like the surface of a frozen pond that has hundreds of tiny cracks spread across it, the tooth will break the next time any considerable force is applied to it.

You are at Risk of CTS (Cracked Tooth Syndrome)

When the breakage eventually occurs, your tooth may crack; possibly as far down as the pulp (nerve). This is referred to as "cracked tooth syndrome". Once your tooth cracks, you will experience pain, sensitivity to heat and cold, and your tooth will now be at the mercy of the bacteria that thrive in your mouth.

Seek Dental Treatment Immediately

If not treated immediately, the structural integrity of the tooth will likely be compromised further by tooth decay, as well as the forces applied to the broken edges of the crack tooth.

Although chewing small particles of ice infrequently shouldn't pose a problem, you should avoid the temptation to crush larger blocks with your teeth. If you must chew ice, let the bigger pieces melt a little first. If you begin to experience pain in one of your teeth whilst biting down on food, your tooth may be cracked. In this case, call your local dentist immediately, and they can either place a crown over the tooth or a filling if the damage is slight.

If left too long, you could lose the tooth due to infection or severe decay. A cost-effective solution to a single missing tooth could be a partial denture. However, you could also opt for a dental implant. Speak to your dentist about your options and together you can choose something that suits your particular situation.