Why do People Chew Ice - Is it Bad to Chew Ice?

By Staff Reporter, Parent Herald May 31, 10:40 am
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Summer is coming! No, this isn't just a GOT reference. Summer is nearly upon us, so the temperatures are rising. Hence, if you see people chewing on ice, you shouldn't be concerned about their well-being. Many people, all over the world, prefer to chew on ice rather than drink a cold beverage. Now, you may ask yourself why and we have the answers!

In the majority of cases, people want to cool down fast so they will chew on ice or add a handful of it to their drinks. In addition to this, it's known that it can act as a relief for dry mouth syndrome.

Nonetheless, you should be concerned when a close one always craves ice or crushing ice cubes with their teeth. This may be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention urgently.

So, what triggers the mind into making people chew ice?

Pagophagia

Even though it sounds serious, in simple words, it's the term used for people who frequently crave ice regardless of the weather. On the other hand, in some cases, this craving will last for seasons where temperatures are rising such as spring and summer.

In serious cases, pagophagia is a symptom of an eating disorder under the name of Pica. This disorder is accompanied by autism and schizophrenia. The mind is tricked into believing that it needs foods without any nutritional value.

Regardless of the seriousness of it, if someone you know suffers from it, there are ways in which you can help. To start, you have to consider purchasing an under counter ice machine. The reason for this is because they will make a large quantity of ice and store it at the right temperature so it can be used throughout the day. In addition to this, the majority of the models are energy-efficient so the maintenance costs would be around $2 per month.

While adults are likely to develop this, children are the most at risk. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend that you consider an ice cream maker. A child is more likely to transition from a frozen desert to nutritional food than from ice straight to normal food. Equally important, these machines are incredibly easy to use and they will make the ice cream better, tastier, and much faster than you could do it manually.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Compulsive eating or ice chewing can be due to a condition called iron deficiency anemia. When this happens is because the blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells. As you may know, the role of blood cells is essential because they carry oxygen throughout our bodies. Without it, you will suffer from symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue

  • Chest pain

  • Heart burn

  • Pale skin

Research done by ScienceDirect has highlighted that when people chew ice, it helps the red blood cells to carry more oxygen to the brain. As the mind is used to lacking oxygen, when you provide it with more, it triggers it into believing that it needs more. Therefore, you will crave more. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as a sufficient amount of oxygen to the brain means better alertness and clarity when making decisions.

If you're pregnant, you may already know the severe symptoms of iron deficiency, and you're not alone. Many pregnant women, all over the world, report that they've developed a chewing-ice habit. However, we recommend that you think of alternative ways.

For example, we recommend that you drink ice-cold water with caution. Of course, many scientists recommend that you consume filtered water rather than municipally-cleaned tap water. Water filters are developed by experts in order to remove heavy metals such as:

  • Lead

  • Mercury

  • Arsenic

Additionally, they're also capable of adding minerals to the water such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Thus, you will not only trick your mind into believing that you're consuming ice, but you're also consuming healthy and clean water. As you may know, ice doesn't have any nutritional value so why wouldn't you want to swap it with water that can help the body?

Emotional Stress
Regardless of age or gender, all people suffer from stress. However, your body reacts to it depends entirely on you. Some people lose their appetite, and others see food as comfort. If you're someone that finds pleasure in chewing ice, you shouldn't worry about it too much as the craving will probably go when the problem is solved.

On the other hand, if you believe that you have developed Obsessive-compulsive disorder, you should seek medical help. Even though it may not seem obvious, we recommend that you seek comfort into the outdoors. Just by breathing in fresh air, you will allow the mind to calm down your hectic thoughts. If the outdoors is out of the question, we recommend that you use an air purifier Such appliance will remove stale air from the indoors and bring in fresh air. Hence, you're not required to leave the comfort of your own home to get a breath of air.

You may be aware that pollution has reached dangerous levels. Therefore, many people suffer from the effects of breathing in polluted air. An air purifier will clean the air before you get to breathe it in. Thus, it will help with allergies, stuffy nose, and respiratory problems.

What Are The Complications of Chewing Ice?

Cracked Tooth Enamel


Ice is sturdy, so it will inevitably weaken the surface of the tooth. If you chew it continuously, you will help to create wear and tear that will result in micro-fractures of the tooth. This will then lead to the tooth breaking. If you continue to chew, you will eventually need root canal therapy.

Tooth Sensitivity


Of course, the damage that you're creating to the teeth goes beyond cracked teeth. If you have fillings and crowns, you will suffer the most. You will inevitably suffer from sore jaw muscles. Perhaps, the biggest problem you will deal with is cavities. In the majority of states, dental work is costly and time-consuming. As well as, even if you go, you have problems beyond repairing.

Gum Infection

Anything sharp that you put in your mouth can lead to gums getting cut. If you don't treat it properly, it will cause an infection and severe other gum issues that can lead to you losing your teeth. If you can't avoid it, this is why we recommend consuming ice cream. If this still doesn't help, you should chew on vegetables such as carrots or fruits such as apples.


Overview

If you crave ice in the hot seasons such as summer, you shouldn't worry about it too much. There are alternative ways to trick your mind into believing that it consumes ice. However, if you always crave it regardless of the weather, you should seek medical help.

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