Your Mouth on Drugs
What do alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and methamphetamine have in common? They all cause severe damage to your oral health. Both legal and illegal drug use can cause serious harm to your smile. Here’s what happens to your mouth on drugs.
Xerostomia (Extreme Dry Mouth)
Most drugs cause Xerostomia, which is a fancy term for excessive dry mouth. This may seem harmless enough, but dry mouth is actually the root of many oral health problems. Because dry mouth does not allow naturally-occurring saliva to cleanse the teeth, it causes harmful bacteria, called plaque, to build up in the mouth. Excessive plaque buildup leads to gum disease (at an increased rate) and is also the cause of constant bad breath.
Sore Jaw and Filed Teeth
Many stimulants, like cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamine, cause users to tightly clench their jaws and grind their teeth. This leads to a sore jaw and filed-down teeth. Over time, this can lead to bigger problems, like TMJ and exposed roots in teeth, which both need serious medical treatment to fix. This can also cause other problems,like constant headaches, earaches, and the inability to chew comfortably.
Rapid Tooth Decay
You may have heard of “meth mouth” — a term coined for the black, rotten teeth that are typically found in meth addicts. This is due to the increase in acid production that is a result of the drug, which causes tooth decay at an extremely rapid rate. It may surprise you to know that this effect isn’t limited to just meth consumption. Many drugs, including cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and tobacco ( to name just a few) cause rapid tooth decay. This means that a drug user’s smile is almost always noticeable — and not for the right reasons. Another fun fact: soda has a very similar effect on teeth, especially in children.
Put Drugs Down and Keep Your Oral Health First
There are many, many reasons to avoid drug use. One of them is your oral health. A smile on drugs is not a beautiful smile. Please share this article with others to remind them of the effects of drug use and remember to contact A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe in Sugar Land, Texas to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.