Many people will pick up a glass of water or cola and chew on the ice cubes left behind after their beverage is consumed. You might not see any harm in it, but unfortunately, there are some downsides to placing those ice cubes in your mouth. Here is what can happen to your teeth and gums if you regularly chew on ice cubes.
Teeth Will Become Worn
When you change the temperature within your mouth from warm to cool very quickly, it puts the enamel on the surfaces of your teeth at risk for cracking. When coupled with the pressure of your teeth clamping together to break apart a cube, the teeth are even more prone to surface damage.
The enamel will wear away rather quickly once the cracking has begun, leaving the dentin layer underneath exposed. This will cause you to experience sensitivity as you eat or drink hot, cold, or acidic items and may also be triggered by sugar or cool temperatures outdoors. These cracks are not usually noticed by the human eye, but will be found when you see a dentist for a routine check-up.
Dental Work Can Become Damaged
Chewing on ice cubes can cause problems with dental work you have had previously done. If you have fillings placed in your mouth to cover cavities, they can become loosened from a sharp corner of a melting cube. If you are experiencing weakened teeth due to deteriorating enamel, the fillings you have will expand into the crevices created from the cracking, causing them to no longer have a holding seal over your cavities. This will shorten the life of the fillings, making it possible for them to fall out when you chew on something. These fillings will need be replaced more often and expose your teeth to further damage in the meantime.
Gums Can Become Injured
If you routinely chew or suck on ice cubes, you are not only putting your teeth at risk. As ice cubes are shifted around in your mouth, they often start to form jagged points from your tongue pushing against the cube. These protrusions can puncture areas of your gums as you move them around your mouth. Scratches or small rips can then become inflamed and red, with the potential for infection as a result. If you habitually chew on ice cubes, try breaking the habit by carrying sugar-free mints or gum as a substitute.
For more information, talk to a company like Hill Crest Dental Centre.
As an avid snorer with sleep apnea to boot, I really didn't know how to treat my problems. But after talking to my dentist, I realized that he can actually help me sleep better at night. My poor dental habits affected my sleep quality and I paid dearly for it. So, I embarked on a long journey of self-discovery. A journey that entailed two root canals, one laser gum surgery, and three porcelain veneers placements. After so many dental treatments, I vowed never to skip my oral care and dental visits again. If you want to improve your sleep quality, fix your dental problems. Don't skip your dental visits and definitely don't make excuses. While you're at it, visit my blog for detailed answers to your pressing dental problems.