illegal drugs
Posted on 06/11/2017 · Posted in Health Information from Affiliated Dentists, Information

How Illegal Drugs Affect Your Mouth

We know that illegal drugs are bad for us in many different ways; they negatively impact our health, our bodies, and our minds, especially over a period of time. How do these substances affect our teeth? In this blog post we explore common illegal drugs and how they ruin our oral health.

Cocaine

One of the biggest oral health concerns in those that use cocaine, ecstasy, or any type of amphetamine is extreme bruxism. Grinding and clenching of the teeth when under the influence of the illegal drug often turns into a habit even when not using it, which can weaken and ultimately break teeth. Broken teeth are painful, and can cause even worse problems down the road. Those with teeth that have been fractured or broken need to have them extracted, and tooth replacement options can be quite costly.

Stimulants also cause dry mouth, which allows the acid in anything consumed to break down the protective enamel of teeth.

Methamphetamine

There is a common phrase, “meth mouth.” This describes the teeth and oral health of people who are users of methamphetamine because it is so obvious to spot. Those who use this illegal drug have extreme discoloration of their teeth, rotten and broken teeth, and extensive decay. Meth also causes a person’s glands to stop producing saliva, giving them excessive dry mouth. Another common issue with people who use meth is excessive grinding. Even when the drug is snorted, it goes back through the nasal passage and can coat a person’s teeth and gums that way, making it very detrimental to the users oral health.

Methamphetamine and especially Crystal Meth are extremely acidic. When it is smoked and/or inhaled, the contact with teeth breaks down enamel very quickly.  After an extremely short period of time, the enamel breaks off in large “sheets”.  –Dr. John Busby

Heroin

Chronic users of this illegal drug experience serious health problems, including bad gums and teeth and often, they lose their teeth altogether. Many have teeth that snap off at the root or just simply fall apart. Extreme decay is also present in heroin users. It doesn’t help that the drug causes cravings for sweet foods and drinks.

Alcohol

This may not be an illegal drug, but that does not meat it isn’t horrible for your oral health – and overall health!

It is widely known that constant drinkers experience faster tooth decay, mainly because many alcoholic beverages contain a high amount of sugar. This will weaken your teeth, and expose your body to bacteria that can cause other health issues. Alcoholics suffer from extreme gum and tooth problems, especially when the user ends up vomiting. Often, when this happens, a person is too drunk – or can pass out entirely – to brush their teeth after throwing up, and all that stomach acid sits on their teeth, damaging the enamel and more.

Illegal Drug Use is Against the Law for a Reason

We are told from a young age to avoid drugs, that they are awful for us and our health, and that is one hundred percent true. They affect your health, your mind, your mood, everything from your fingernails to your mental well-being to your teeth.