You’ve probably heard of “meth mouth,” the advanced tooth decay caused by the use of methamphetamines, but did you know that all recreational drugs can cause tooth decay? Chemicals in the drugs themselves, as well as a lack of proper oral care, will cause teeth to rapidly decay. Here’s what you need to know about the most common street drugs and why you should avoid them not only for your overall health, but also to preserve your oral health.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, can cause xerostomia (dry mouth), a condition characterized by a lack of saliva production. As saliva neutralizes acids in the mouth, a lack thereof allows the acids to run rampant and erode your tooth enamel. Acid erosion causes tooth discoloration and sensitivity and makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Chronic dry mouth from cannabis use can cause your teeth to rot very quickly, and the chemicals in marijuana smoke increase the risk of developing oral cancer.
Cocaine is highly acidic, and when users rub it on their teeth and gums, tooth enamel erosion and gum irritation are inevitable. Cocaine also causes xerostomia and bruxism, a grinding and clenching of the teeth that can cause teeth to wear down.
Ecstasy, also called “E” and “the love drug,” is a form of speed. Like cocaine, it contributes to bruxism and dry mouth, both of which can lead to worn-down, decayed teeth. Ecstasy also causes nausea and vomiting, which will expose the teeth to stomach acids and present more risk of enamel erosion and decay.
Also known as “smack,” heroin is another drug that causes dry mouth and teeth grinding. In addition, heroin users often crave sweets, which can lead to extensive tooth decay if oral hygiene is neglected during drug use.
Made from corrosive chemicals such as battery acid, paint thinner, and lye, methamphetamine is a highly acidic drug that rots teeth in a very short period of time. Crystal meth users also crave sugar, which only accelerates the rapid decay caused by the chemicals in this drug.
If you’re using street drugs, Dr. Moiceanu encourages you to seek treatment for your addiction. Repairing the damage done to your teeth is also an important component of your recovery, so call Dr. Moiceanu today at (510) 758-7222 to schedule an appointment. Hilltop Family Dental serves from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.
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