Ice Cravings – A Sign of Something Worse?

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. Dr. Gollofon wants all Seattle 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 Dr. Gollofon will need to perform 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 Dr. Gollofon for a check-up and he’ll take care of any enamel damage that your ice chewing may have caused.

If you have questions, contact us at A.J. Gollofon, DDS 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.


Sources

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/health/22real.html?_r=1&ref=health

Dr. A.J. Gollofon was born and raised in Woodinville, Washington, where he still resides today. He graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1983 and the University of Washington, School of Dentistry in 1987 where he graduated in the top 5 of his class. Dr. Gollofon has happily spent his entire professional career at his Lake City office. Dr. Gollofon is a proud member of the American Dental Association, as well as the Seattle-King County Dental Society. He was also Dr. of the Year for Seattle Study Club in 2015. He continues his education at frequent seminars throughout the year, and as a member of the world-renowned Seattle Study Club. This keeps Dr. Gollofon on the cutting edge of the newest techniques and technology in dentistry. Dr. Gollofon is married with two daughters. His hobbies include soccer, cycling, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.

Posted in Blog, Dental Health