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How Does Drug Use Impact Oral Health?

It’s a simple fact: the use of narcotics will have a negative impact on a person’s health. Such abuse can generate many ailments, ranging from heart problems to dental problems.

This article will explore the negative effects that drug use can have on your oral health.

How Do Drugs Impact Oral Health?

Drugs can affect the dental tissue and the oral mucosa causing oral manifestations such as xerostomia. It also disrupts the alteration of salivary flow, and causes abrasion and erosion of tooth enamel. While, the most serious effects are the loss of teeth and periodontal disease.

These damages are directly associated with the type of drug and frequency of consumption. It has been shown that addicts to these substances have a higher chance of getting cavities. This is because it causes them to consume high amounts of sugar or refined carbohydrates.

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What Are Drugs of Abuse?

According to the World Health Organization, drugs of abuse are non-medical substances with psychoactive effects. These can alter the reasoning and value judgment of people by affecting the central nervous system.

These can be opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens, sedatives, marijuana, and alcohol, among others. They are self-administered and can cause tiredness, sweating, increased body temperature, nausea, hallucinations, dry mouth, etc.

Studies indicate that more than 243 million people use some illegal drug. Their ages range between 15 and 64 years. Apart from physical problems, drugs of abuse cause mental damage. Those affected may suffer from disorders such as depression.

What Are The Consequences of Drug Use On My Teeth?

According to the World Health Organization, drugs of abuse are non-medical substances with psychoactive effects. These can alter the reasoning and value judgment of people by affecting the central nervous system.

These can be opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens, sedatives, marijuana, and alcohol, among others. They are self-administered and can cause tiredness, sweating, increased body temperature, nausea, hallucinations, dry mouth, etc.

Studies indicate that more than 243 million people use some illegal drug. Their ages range between 15 and 64 years. Apart from physical problems, drugs of abuse cause mental damage. Those affected may suffer from disorders such as depression.

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What Are The Different Oral Issues That Can Arise With Drugs?

Different issues can arise depending on the type of drug taken. Some of the most commonly used drugs and their effects include:

Methamphetamine

Its damage is known as “methamphetamine mouth.” It is one of the most dangerous for oral health. Consumers of “meth” or “crystal meth” have decayed lateral teeth and wear in the gum areas.

Because its components are highly acidic, they soften tooth enamel, you can even remove it in a few weeks. Because of the anxiety it generates, it leads them to gnash their teeth, accelerating erosion.

In addition to this, another symptom appears, such as that of a dry mouth that causes bacteria to proliferate and increase the appearance of cavities. Consumers generally do not brush and feel like eating sweets, which threatens their oral hygiene. 

Ecstasy

99% of people who consume it have dry mouth syndrome, which increases the chances of tooth decay. Bruxism is another side effect, which results in clenching or grinding causing constant jaw pain.

Marijuana

Dry mouth is one of the most common symptoms of marijuana usage alongside tooth decay and gum disease. It can help the onset of cancer in the mouth. This is because it interrupts the flow of blood in this area and because of gingival widening.

Cocaine

When mixed with saliva, the acidic substances it contains wear teeth. One of the effects of the drug on the tongue is that it damages the palate and makes it difficult to speak, eat and drink.

When consumed, addicts can rub the drug in the gums causing mouth ulcers, as well as damage to the jaw. 

Heroin

Like the previous ones, its effects include dental caries, dry mouth, teeth grinding, wear and gum disease. Other disorders include fungi in the mouth, viral infections and discoloration in the tongue.

Questions? Contact Total Implants & Periodontics in Fort Mill, SC

Dr. Samir Patel & his team at Total Implants & Periodontics can provide a variety of dental treatments in Fort Mill, SC. If you have any additional questions about how drug use can impact your oral health or are looking to schedule for your next cleaning, please don’t hesitate to contact our office! We look forward to helping you.

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