While eating ice might seem harmless, it can really cause damage to your health and teeth. In fact, compulsive ice chewing is actually an eating disorder in which one craves nonfood items. This can also be a sign of other serious physical, mental and emotional ailments that have long-term consequences for your health and wellbeing.

Harmful Effects

Chewing ice is extremely harmful and many people don’t realize the effects it can have on their teeth or jaws. This bad habit will create wear and tear on the enamel, which often results in microfractures and even broken teeth. When this happens, you might even need root canal therapy to repair the damage. And when teeth become damaged, many people begin to feel sore jaw muscles, as well as sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures.

You Might be Hiding Stress

If you find yourself reaching for ice cubes when you’re working or worried about something, it might be a form of stress relief for yourself. Routinely chewing ice might be a way for you to reduce stress, but it can also be an underlying sign of a more serious medical condition. If you are stressed, there are much healthier ways to find relief.

Don’t Chew Ice

When the urge arises to chew on some ice, just say no. Chewing on ice causes a potential risk of eating a sharp piece ice that might puncture the gums and cause an infection. Reach for a sugar-free piece of gum instead of ice. Not only will it keep your breath fresh, it will be a lot gentler on your teeth.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center to learn more about the negative effects of chewing ice and how it might be hurting your jaws.