Chewing ice cubes is an enjoyable habit for many people, but it's unfortunately dangerous for your mouth. Crunching on ice cubes can potentially damage your oral health and cause serious problems that will require an emergency visit to the dentist's office. If you're a fan of chewing ice cubes, keep reading to learn why stopping is a good idea.

Damage to Teeth

Ice cubes can cause a serious problem for your teeth. Ice cubes are both hard and big, which makes them difficult for teeth to bite through. This can potentially chip or even cause breakage in teeth, plus it can wreak havoc on dental work like fillings. Dental crowns are a bit tougher and can withstand more wear and tear, but it's still not a good idea to chew on ice cubes even if you have crowns protecting your teeth. Furthermore, when you bite into an ice cube and break through it, your teeth strike each other with a great deal of force. This can also cause your teeth to be chipped or broken.

Damage to Gums

Ice cubes can cause damage to your gums in two different ways. One is that the ice cubes can hit your gums while you're chewing on them, cutting or bruising your gums and potentially creating an entryway for bacteria to get in.

Another way that ice can potentially damage skin and tissue is with prolonged exposure. Cold drinks and crushed ice are okay because they quickly melt, and you don't hold them right against your gum line. However, ice cubes are much larger and thus take longer to melt, so they can spend more time directly pressed up against your gums and harming the tissues.

Stick With Ice Chips or Crushed Ice

There's nothing inherently wrong with consuming ice, since it's composed of water and doesn't include any sugar. If you just can't break your ice addiction, you can instead try to do it in another way.

Ice chips are one possible way to still enjoy crunching ice without hurting yourself. Since ice chips are much thinner, they're far less likely to damage your teeth and gums.

If ice chips don't interest you, crushed ice is a good option. Whether you use a sugar-free sweetener or just have it by itself, it poses no threat to your oral health and still provides an icy-cold crunchiness that's enjoyed by many.

Crunching ice cubes may not seem like a dangerous habit, but it can cause serious problems for your teeth, gums, and dental work. In order to avoid hurting yourself and needing serious dental attention to fix the problem, stop chewing on ice cubes. For more help, check with dentists like Four Corners Dental Group.