How Ice Cubes Affect Your Teeth And Gums

Posted on: 18 July 2016

If you chew on ice cubes after your beverage has been consumed, you most likely enjoy the added refreshment the moisture gives you when you no longer have liquid in your glass. If this is a habit you regularly engage in, there are some downsides to this act that cause damage to your teeth and gums over time. Here are a few reasons why you should make a conscious attempt to avoid chewing on ice cubes.

Surface Cracks And Wear May Occur

When you chew on ice, the change in temperature between your mouth and the cube itself leads to microscopic cracking of the enamel layer of your teeth. The impact of your teeth against the cube as you chew on it will exacerbate the damage even further. This may not be noticed visibly, but will be noticed when sensitivity sets in.

Sensitivity of the teeth is a direct result of the wear of enamel. When this protective surface is no longer present upon the teeth, nerve endings are exposed. When you drink something cold or hot, or if you eat a sugary snack, a jolt of discomfort may occur. Once enamel is damaged, seeing a dentist like one from Brookside Dental Associate will be necessary to relieve symptoms effectively.

Damage To The Gums Is A Concern

As you move an ice cube around in your mouth, the melting process may cause it to transform into an object with pointed sections. A pointy piece of ice puts your gums at risk for injury. If the ice scrapes against your gums, a result may be a cut complete with bleeding. Since this is a sensitive area of your body, it is prone to infection if it is not cared for properly. Avoid eating foods that will cause you pain, such as spicy or acidic choices, as you heal. 

Dental Work Is At Risk For Deterioration

If you have fillings on some of your teeth, they are at risk of damage when chewing on ice cubes. A sharp portion of a cube could become caught under a filling, lifting it from a tooth. This could cause you pain as a cavity would be exposed. The filling would also be at risk of falling out completely.

If your teeth are suffering from enamel wear due to excessive cube chewing, fillings will expand into the cracks on the teeth. This in turn would cause the seal they previously had to disappear. You would then need to see a dentist promptly to repair the dental work.