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Did you ever wonder if there is a difference between diet soda and regular soda when it comes to your teeth? Or, maybe you have always questioned what those numbers are we call out during your exam. What is a "Prophy" anyway?! Our blog is meant to answer all of your burning (or weird) questions about dentistry. Make sure to follow us and share on social media! Chances are good if you are wondering about something…so is everyone else!

Ice Cravings – A Sign of Something Worse?

Posted on April 14th, 2022

Augusta dentist, Dr. Jonathan Bullard at Bullard Dental, tells 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. Bullard Dental wants all Augusta 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 Bullard 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 Dr. Bullard

Dr. Bullard graduated cum laude from Augusta State University with a business administration and management degree. He served as vice president of his dental class at the Medical College of Georgia where he attained his DMD degree. Rather than entering into private practice directly after dental school, he furthered his education by completing a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center here in Augusta. Here he enriched his skills in diagnosis and treatment planning, endodontics, oral surgery, dental implants, and cosmetic dental procedures. Dr. Bullard is currently an Associate Fellow in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

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