Addicted To Chewing On Ice? It's A Warning Sign Of Anemia, Which Can Lead To Gum Disease

Relentlessly chewing on ice is like a wrecking ball wreaking havoc in your mouth. Crunching down repeatedly on hard ice cubes can damage your teeth by causing them to crack or break. But there's another thing that you need to be aware of if you are addicted to chewing on ice—iron deficiency anemia, which can cause gum disease. Here's what you need to know.

Ice Chewing Addiction Is a Warning Sign of Anemia

The human body craves things as a way to instinctively get the particular nutrients and minerals that the person needs into their body or as a way to compensate for a deficiency. Chewing on ice makes the mouth very cold, which increases the flow of blood (and therefore oxygen) to the mouth and head. Because of this, craving ice chewing can be your body's way of saying that you need more oxygen to your brain.

Iron deficiency anemia is a medical condition that results in an inadequate production of hemoglobin, which is what carries oxygen in the blood to the cells of the body. Therefore, the body tries to compensate for the reduction in hemoglobin by getting more blood to the brain to keep the brain healthy. It does this instinctively by making you crave ice.

Anemia Can Lead to Gum Disease

Someone with anemia has a higher risk of developing gum disease, especially periodontitis. Severe forms of gum disease can cause your teeth to easily move in the gum tissue. It can also cause your teeth to fall out because it severely limits the gum tissue's ability to connect to the teeth and hold them in place. The reason for this is because of the reduction in hemoglobin and, therefore, oxygen.

Unfortunately, the damage that periodontitis does to your gums and teeth is irreversible. For this reason, it's important to treat the disease in its early stages before permanent damage is done. If you have a diagnoses of anemia tell your dentist so he or she can determine an appropriate schedule for dental examinations and cleanings based on your medical history and your dental evaluation.

Also, the reduction in hemoglobin and oxygen will cause wounds to take longer to heal, including oral wounds and abrasions. Due to this, you'll want to use a soft toothbrush and get laser gum treatments as an effective way to have your teeth and gums cleaning without risk of injuring gum tissue. To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Pine Lake Dental Group.