Drug or substance abuse is on a frequent rise in the world. The misuse of drugs causes many severe problems in many vital parts of the body like the liver, brain, heart etc. Many people however overlook the link between drugs and oral health . There are adverse effects that the substance abuse has on the oral health of a person. The drug addict teeth face huge brunt due to poor oral hygiene and side-effects of drugs. The deterioration of a drug addict’s teeth continues even after the addiction and other related diseases are cured. Hence, special periodontal care is warranted to regain near-normal oral health.
Effects of Drugs on Teeth
All types of substance abuse is bad in general for the dental wellness of an individual. The following are a few most common drug addict teeth issues that affect the people :-
(a) Methamphetamine. Commonly known as “Meth”, this drug has high content is acid which deteriorates the teeth rapidly and the victim loses teeth very fast. The condition is called ‘Meth Mouth’ and means grinding of teeth continuously in dry mouth.
(b) Cocaine. The addicts of cocaine often rub it on their gums thereby resulting in direct attack by the drug on the gums and teeth. The acidic nature of cocaine mixed with saliva degenerates the teeth enamel and the dry mouth combined with continuous grinding of teeth leads to quick decay.
(c) Heroin. A heroin addict not only has dry mouth but also feels a continuous hunger. Regular eating, involuntary grinding of teeth and poor oral hygiene decompose the teeth and gums very rapidly.
(d) Marijuana. It stops the transfer of calcium through the human body. Smoking marijuana increases the chances of oral cancer. Marijuana smoke is generally held for longer duration in the mouth and the addict normally doesn’t follow good oral habits which results in faster decay of teeth.
Alcohol and smoking have negative effect on the oral health and must be avoided. However, drug abuse has the worst kind of impact on the teeth, which damages them almost beyond normal repair. Only special surgical treatment may help in such circumstances.