Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can chewing ice cause jaw pain?"
I've been chewing ice since I was a child. Now I'm 24 and my jaw really hurts every time I do it. Does this mean I need to stop? Could I have caused some deeper problem?
Things to think about include whether you have noticed any chips, fractures or changes in the appearance of your teeth? Have you noticed any increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods? These are all things to discuss with your dentist who will use this information along with your medical history and presenting symptoms to decide upon the appropriate work up and treatment for this. This may include imaging studies and an examination of your teeth. In general, most dentists agree that chewing ice can damage the enamel on your teeth, and put stress on the joint that holds your jaw to your face, also known as the TMJ joint. It is for this reason that it is generally not recommended that people chew ice, and if you have been doing this for a long time, it may require some work to break yourself of this habit. The fact that your jaw is hurting is a sign that your body might be telling you to stop chewing ice. Again, it is important to discuss this with your dentist who will best be able to answer any questions or concerns that you may have and also how to break this habit.
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