It’s evident that drug abuse is more than harmful to your overall health. It can contribute to numerous conditions and diseases. From different types of cancer to heart problems, you name it, and it’ll probably cause it.
That’s why oral health can’t stay out of the picture. As you may imagine, it is not exempt from harm, so you might tend to see some noticeable dental conditions in people who use different types of drugs.
In this article, we’ll give you a list of the top five substances that, according to the American Dental Association, are the most harmful to your oral health and could end up ending with it altogether.
Methamphetamine, popularly known as “meth,” is a powerful stimulant and highly addictive illicit drug.
Its usage can lead to serious health concerns, including severe and very noticeable oral and dental disorders.
The link between methamphetamine use and dental problems has been so well-known in the media that it has earned its own nickname: “meth mouth.”
Because of the severe tooth decay that often happens with the use of this drug, this word now describes the visual consequences of oral disease in a person who consumes the substance.
Methamphetamine users may experience discolored, damaged, fractured, or rotting teeth as a result of the drug’s adverse effects as well as lifestyle concerns.
These are some of the ways in which it can damage your mouth:
- Development of bruxism, or grinding teeth.
- It can make you disregard your dental hygiene, provoking the growth of bacteria and decay.
- Development of dry mouth, reducing the production of protective saliva.
Often known as MDMA or “Molly,” ecstasy is a popular recreational and psychoactive substance. More public dialogue and knowledge have resulted from effects such as euphoria, energy buzz, greater alertness, empathy, and increased potency.
Just like methamphetamine, this type of drug can cause bruxism and dry mouth.
This substance can harm your teeth by causing enamel erosion, excessive wear, tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, and temporomandibular joint tenderness, among other things. All of the symptoms described above can impact your bite, resulting in uneven enamel degradation.
Marijuana is the most often used psychoactive substance in the United States, second only to alcohol. The use of this drug, mainly smoking it, has been linked to poor dental health. Marijuana smokers are more likely to suffer from gum inflammation and illness.
Among the oral risks of its use are the following:
- Discolored teeth: The marijuana smoke will most certainly discolor your teeth over time.
- Gum disease: When you smoke marijuana, the high temperatures inhaled can irritate your gums, causing you to bleed, feel sensitivity and swelling.
- Tooth decay: Marijuana is known to give users the need to eat, but most people don’t look for tooth-friendly options to fulfill their hunger and thirst when they’re high.
- Dry mouth: Saliva is essential for optimal dental health because it aids in the digestion of food, reduces plaque build-up, flushes out bacteria, prevents bad breath, and slows tooth decay, among other things.
Cocaine abuse causes painful perforation of the nasal septum and palate, painful lesions in the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth, and tooth enamel degradation.
Medications used to treat cocaine withdrawal symptoms can cause severe dry mouth. Which will, of course, higher the chances of tooth decay because there won’t be enough protective saliva.
Naturally, cocaine addicts are prompt to neglect their oral hygiene, which is why the incidence of decay is high. They also tend to rub the substance in their gums, which could irritate them and get to harm teeth enamel. And chances are, they won’t seek any professional dental treatment.
This drug can also lead to:
Gingival and Periodontal Diseases: Periodontal diseases are more common as a result of xerostomia and a lack of basic oral hygiene.
Bruxism: Development of clenching and grinding that will contribute to the breakdown of supporting structures and TMJ disorders.
People who inject heroin into their veins could deal with rotted, discolored, damaged, and even
missing teeth, as well as gum disease, similar to what meth users experience.
Heroin is a pain reliever drug. As a result, in addition to the ways that most illegal drugs can harm your mouth, it may also cause you to overlook the discomfort of damaged teeth and gums, which can only lead to worse outcomes.
This substance will pretty much do to your teeth the same conditions we’ve been mentioning. Decay, gingival and periodontal illnesses, bruxism, cracked teeth, oral fungus, oral viral infections, and tongue discoloration.
Fixing Your Smile and Stopping Drug Abuse
A person who struggles with drug abuse can overcome it by receiving detox assistance and enrolling in a rehabilitation program. These treatment facilities can frequently assist patients in locating dental professionals who can help them with their oral health issues.
It’s highly likely that their oral health will be affected by long-term damage that will require extensive repair. Even after drug use has stopped, this can still make eating hard, and it can harm a person’s self-esteem, making emotional recovery from substance misuse more difficult.
If you’re looking to retrieve your smile or know someone who is, consider contacting Serena Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to get the best compassionate, expert care. Dr. Serena Kurt is a dentist in San Diego who has assisted many patients with a history of drug abuse and is an expert in cosmetic dental restorations.
You can fill out the form on our website or give us a call to schedule your first dental appointment. Take a step closer to letting out the version of yourself you want to be and move on to a brighter, happier future.