THE LINK BETWEEN DENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
- November 20, 2019
Many street or club drugs are illegal, and rightfully so. Nothing good ever comes from using them, and aside from being addictive, they’re also bad for your health, including your teeth.
The majority of drug addicts have decayed or rotting teeth. This is due to drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine (meth), ecstasy, cocaine, and even marijuana, causing problems with your teeth and gums alike. There are many explanations as to why, yet there are some more prominent than others. These drugs are known to cause the worst forms of mouth damage and deterioration:
- Crystal Meth – Causes cavities, tooth decay, stained, and badly damaged teeth (also known as “meth mouth”), is acidic, triggers vomiting and reflux, and decreases appetite while boosting cravings for sweets (occurs rapidly and often leads to loss of teeth)
- Heroin – Similar to damage caused by meth: discolored, broken, rotten, and missing teeth (along with gum disease); also a painkiller so may cause insensitivity to the pain of damaged teeth and gums
- Cocaine – Depending on how it’s taken, creates various effects: when snorted damages tissue between the nose and roof of the mouth, eventually causing a hole and difficulty speaking and eating; when smoked or consumed by mouth, acids coat teeth and disintegrate protective enamel (which can trigger gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores)
- Marijuana – Smoke from it is a carcinogen (causes mouth cancer); also causes cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, leading to nausea and vomiting (resulting in stomach acids traveling to your mouth and wearing away enamel, causing tooth decay)
Other Side Effects
– These drugs also cause dry mouth, equaling decreased production of saliva, which is necessary to clean your teeth.
– Stimulants such as cocaine, meth, heroin, and ecstasy, can cause habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth. This, in turn, weakens them and can even lead to breakage, while also creating pain in your jaw.
– When abusing drugs (especially more potent ones like heroin and meth) you’re not as likely to care for your teeth or visit the dentist as someone who doesn’t. This causes decay to speedily become worse.
– Smoking can also worsen the effects of drug use on your mouth.
Though these effects are brutal and often embarrassing to live with, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Asana Recovery knows the plight of recovering from these addictions, thoroughly. Our daily work consists of helping those who struggle most from the disease, and while some think they can wing it on their own, we are sure that rehab programs are important in fighting against dependency. Maybe it won’t be an easy or ideal journey, but you can confront and overcome it if supported by a good team. Aftercare and therapy largely assist you in addressing each psychological factor that led you to your addiction, all while helping you create new ideas to better cope with life without substance abuse.
The professionally managed detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a supportive, receptive environment. We are forever committed to making sure of a long term recovery, and leading you toward a healthy and happy future. We’re always ready to talk with you, so call us at (949) 438-4504 today, to learn all about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment program.