Addiction to any drug, whether it's an illegal substance or a prescription medication, can do a number of horrible things to your body. Some of these substances affect your oral health and your teeth more than others, but every addiction is going to take its toll. Some drugs, such as meth, have very obvious effects on the teeth. Others may not be as easy to see, but the damage is still there.
How Drugs Affect Your Teeth
Addiction can start with something fairly minor, such as dry mouth. But even dry mouth is dangerous because saliva is necessary to wash away bacteria and food debris stuck in your teeth. Without it, you're more likely to have cavities and other oral health issues. Many drugs also decrease blood flow. Without a steady flow of blood, the gums and roots of your teeth begin to suffer. You may also develop sores or ulcers in your mouth that become infected.
Addiction can also lead to acid reflux, which damages the enamel of your teeth. You may start grinding your teeth at night, especially if you're going through withdrawal. In some cases, drugs also make you either very hungry or leave you so drained that you don't want to cook a healthy meal. In either case, you're more likely to reach for candy and other snacks that require no work to eat.
Those who are highly addicted to drugs will become very focused on getting their next fix. You won't care about brushing your teeth or taking care of your body at all. Instead, your entire life narrows down to nothing but drugs and how you'll get more.
Different Drugs, Different Symptoms Not all drugs affect the mouth in the same way, which is why it's important to learn about the symptoms of any drug you've taken. If you're a recovering addict, tell us about it.
We're not here to judge you—we only want to provide the best oral health care we can, and we need to know what drugs you've used so we can focus on the areas of the mouth that drug effects. Give us a call today if you'd like to schedule an appointment to evaluate any drug damage.
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