25 Mar How do drugs affect oral health?
Drug use leads to serious health problems, including those affecting the oral cavity, which will vary according to the type and dose of substance consumed, the time and frequency of consumption and the individual characteristics of the consumer:
- Oropharyngeal cancer
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Erosion of enamel
- Leukoplakia (precancerous whitish lesion)
- Necrosis of the palate
- Tooth sensitivity
- Xerostomy (dry mouth)
The drugs that most affect the health of our teeth:
Marijuana or cannabis: several recent studies have revealed that the main consequence in the medium-long term (about 20 years) of cannabis use is periodontal disease, better known as pyorrhea or periodontitis. This pathology affects the supporting tissues of the tooth, that is to say, the gums. Periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. It gradually destroys them until, in the extreme cases in which the disease is not adequately treated. The tooth is lost. Research has also revealed that among regular consumers. There is a deterioration in their dental hygiene, which increases the risk of tooth decay.
Cocaine: addicts to this substance can take it in different forms (inhaled, smoked…). All of them are harmful. But there are two of them especially dangerous for oral health: smoking it and rubbing it against the gums. It is a very acid substance. Which makes it extremely harmful to oral health. It destroys tooth enamel and leaves teeth totally unprotected. This causes cocaine addicts to have many cavities because of it and the dry mouth they suffer. In addition, involuntary movements of the jaw. Due to the action of the drug they provoke the development of bruxism and its consequences. Like chronic headaches, pain in the jaw. Fractured teeth and further erosion of the enamel.
Methamphetamine: this is a tremendously addictive drug with serious health effects. As for oral health, due to its high degree of acidity like cocaine, it deteriorates the teeth very much. It breaks down tooth enamel and reduces saliva production, leaving the mouth dry and unprotected. All this supposes a high amount of caries and a serious dental erosion that makes that people of 30 years and even smaller have a very severe dental deterioration and suffer periodontitis.
MDMA: almost 100% of consumers cause dry mouth. Sometimes it lasts up to two days after consumption. This lack of protection added to the large intake of soft drinks for relief increases the amount of caries and the risk of suffering periodontitis. It also causes bruxism, that involuntary habit of clenching or grinding teeth excessively that causes further tooth decay. In addition to headaches, muscle … etc..
Therefore, in case of use or abuse of these substances, the consumer should take extreme precautions and increase oral hygiene measures and the frequency of visits to the specialist, to prevent the appearance of complications and diagnose in time any injury that might appear. The reality, however, especially when there is already a problem of abuse, is very different, because there is usually a general abandonment that aggravates everything else. Seeking professional help to stop these addictions as soon as possible is the best decision that can be made by anyone who makes a harmful use or abuse of psychoactive substances.