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Ice Cravings – A Sign of Something Worse?

Posted on June 13th, 2021

Highlands Ranch dentists, Drs. Twiss and Baller at Twiss Dental, tell you how ice cravings could be a sign of something much more serious.We all know someone who asks for extra ice just so they can chew on it. And we’ve probably all heard that chewing ice is not healthy for your teeth. So what’s the truth? Is it best to put a stop to ice chewing? Absolutely, and for more reasons than most people are aware of. Drs. Twiss and Baller wants all Highlands Ranch residents to know why chewing ice is a bad habit, so please read on for the facts!  

Why should I stop chewing ice?

Ice is hard. So hard, in fact, that pitting it against your teeth regularly will most certainly result in damage to your enamel. If you have pagophagia (the fancy name for ice cravings), it’s likely that you will need enamel restoration treatments, which are pricey and can be quite uncomfortable. 

However, that is not the most pressing reason to be aware of an ice chewing habit. Recent research indicates that pagophagia may actually be a sign of anemia (a lack of iron in the blood), which can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. 

Scientists aren’t sure exactly why the link exists, but they suspect it may be due to the oral inflammation caused by anemia. Such inflammation could conceivably spark an urge to seek relief in the form of ice.

Is ice chewing really a ‘thing’?

It definitely is. Hardcore ice enthusiasts keep ice by their side all day long, and may even put away multiple pounds of the stuff each day. If you still think this is doubtful, check online and you will find that there is an entire community of ice lovers and ice-chewing websites.

Why am I having ice cravings?

With a simple blood test, your doctor can tell you if you are an anemic ice chewer seeking the soothing cold of a good ice cube. And if you are, don’t panic! Anemia is easily treatable with daily iron supplements.

Once you have that taken care of, come see Twiss Dental for a checkup and we’ll assess any enamel damage that your ice chewing may have caused. 

If you have questions, contact us anytime! And remember to order that drink without ice next time! 

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

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About Tyler Twiss, DMD, MBA

Dr. Twiss grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is married with four children and loves being involved with them as they grow up. Dr. Twiss has spent extensive time in advancing his dental education. He received his Fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, spending over 150 hours in training with world-renowned implant pioneer Dr. Carl Misch. In addition to dental implants, Dr. Twiss has extensive training in orthodontics, Invisalign®, laser gum surgery, and CEREC® one-visit porcelain crown technology.

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