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Chewing Ice

Lately, we have notice that many of our patients are chewing ice, so Dr. Pan was interested in finding out if there was possibly a cause. Chewing ice can have severe consequences when it comes to your teeth. Due to the temperature and hardness of the ice, it can fracture your teeth, prematurely loosen or break your dental crowns, or cause micro fractures which develop over time into sensitivity and decay.

Dr. Pan found that one possible reason for chewing ice was due to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can cause a burning sensation in your mouth, leading to a craving(called Pica) for ice. Pica is a craving for any substance that has no nutritional value, and has other causes, but Dr. Pan was interested and concerned about the iron deficiency because it can cause other systemic issues. Iron deficiency can cause low red blood cell count(anemia), frequent infections due to suppressed immune system, hair loss, and extreme fatigue or exhaustion. Low iron has also been linked to a much higher rate of oral infection and dry mouth

So, if you find yourself chewing ice constantly, it is Dr. Pan's recommendation that you speak to your primary care physician regarding having a possible iron deficiency. It is much easier to get a simple test done and protect yourself from a number of preventable complications. Also a lot easier on the checking account!

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. (916)781-6688, www.dralanpan.com, admin@dralanpan.com


Sources:
Everyday Health: "7 Unusual Signs of Iron Deficiency" - https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/unusual-signs-iron-deficiency/

Mayo Clinic: "Craving and chewing ice: A sign of anemia?"  - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/expert-answers/chewing-ice/faq-20057982

PubMed: "Perception of iron deficiency from oral mucosa alterations that show a high prevalence of Candida infection" - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27133388

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