The Cold Harsh Facts on Ice and Your Teeth

We have all done it. You leave your favorite restaurant, finish off the drink and start crunching on the ice. Crushed ice or cubed, we seem to be drawn to the frozen liquid in that cup. The problem you may not realize is that chewing on ice can damage your teeth.

Our teeth are covered with enamel, the hardest substance in the body and second hardest natural substance on the earth (next to diamonds). While tooth enamel is very durable, it can be worn away or chip. The acids produced by foods cause tooth enamel to soften for up to two hours. So, eating ice can cause the enamel to chip or wear down.

When tooth enamel is compromised, you can experience increased sensitivity, causing the tooth to react intensely to the cold. The temperature can shock the nerve of the tooth, causing discomfort or pain.

Another risk associated with eating ice is the potential for more serious problems like gum injury and tooth fractures than can lead to costly repairs, such as the need for crowns, root canals, extractions. If you already have crowns or fillings, one wrong bite may break the dental work.

If you enjoy the crunch, or just like chewing on something, Dr. Stewart would like to suggest you chew sugarless gum, apples, or carrots and celery sticks. If you have a dental emergency, please contact Dr. James Stewart at 734-425-4400. Located in Livonia, MI, our dentist office provides restorative, preventive, and cosmetic dentistry to patients of all ages.