Last Updated on October 4, 2017 by Inspire Malibu
Abusing or mis-using drugs is one of the worst things for your body. Drug abuse can negatively affect your liver, heart and lungs.
What many people don’t realize is that it can also do a number on your teeth. If you regularly abuse drugs, you will likely experience a number of oral health issues including tooth decay.
Here is a list of drugs that can severely damage your teeth.
Methamphetamines or “Meth”
As a highly acidic drug, meth aggressively attacks the tooth enamel. This attack will cause teeth to rot at a rapid rate. Many people who use meth on a regular basis will lose many, if not all, of their teeth due to “meth mouth,” a condition caused by grinding or clenching teeth combined with a dry mouth.
Cocaine users sometimes rub the drug over their gums, which can cause severe gum and tooth damage. When cocaine is mixed with saliva, it can create an acidic solution that severely erodes the enamel of teeth. Using cocaine can also cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay. Regular cocaine users are also prone to grinding their teeth due to the numbing nature of the drug.
When using heroin, people often crave a lot of sweet foods, which increases the risk of tooth decay. This drug can also cause dry mouth and make users more likely to grind their teeth. Poor diet and hygiene are also contributing factors.
Although marijuana is a more common recreational drug, it is not good for the teeth either. It blocks calcium from transferring through the body and calcium is needed for healthy teeth. Long-term marijuana use can cause the calcium needed for healthy teeth to be blocked, leading to tooth decay. Like smoking tobacco, Marijuana contains come cancer causing materials and it can increase the risk of getting oral cancer.
People who smoke marijuana normally hold the smoke in their lungs and mouth for long periods of time, which introduces toxins to the mouth, negatively impacting oral health.
A lot of alcohol, such as wine and beer, is acidic and contains high amounts of sugar, especially when used with sweet mixers. Both the acid and sugar can strip or decay the enamel on teeth. Alcohol can also cause dry mouth which is bad for the teeth, and certain drinks can stain the teeth if used in high amounts for long periods of time.
Over time, alcoholism can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies which are dangerous for the body, including the teeth, and can cause Wet Brain or Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome. If caught in time, the damage to the brain can be reversed, but it is very dangerous and is often irreversible.
As you can see, drug abuse can severely damage your teeth. If you use drugs for a long period of time, you may even lose some of your teeth. If you care about the condition of your teeth and have trouble quitting drugs, you should seek help from a professional.
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Inspire Malibu is Joint Commission (JCAHO) accredited and has been designated a Higher Level of Care from the Department of Health Care Services. We are also uniquely qualified to address dual diagnosis disorders.