How Does Drug Addiction Affect Periodontal Health?


Drugs and alcohol have been known to cause some serious dental health issues over time. In addition to this, neglecting to take proper care of teeth and gums causes problems on its own, and only makes matters worse when combined with an addiction. Unfortunately, poor periodontal health is a common occurrence among alcoholics and drug addicts. Here are how various drugs can affect periodontal health.

  1. How Neglecting Your Teeth Affects Your Dental Health

It is extremely common for alcoholics and drug addicts to neglect their oral hygiene. This causes an array of dental health concerns and worsen those caused by substance abuse itself. Gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay are all probable when dental hygiene is neglected. However, getting treatment early, even during an Austin detox, can prevent serious conditions from developing.

    2. Alcohol Effects on Dental Health

Alcohol is very acidic, and it contains a lot of sugar. These two things combined can lead to cavities and tooth decay over time, because acidic substances and sugar tend to wear down teeth. This is especially true if chronic alcohol consumption lasts for a long time and dental hygiene has been neglected.

   3. Marjuana Effects on Dental Health

Marjuana commonly creates dry mouth. Having a dry mouth consistently can wear away tooth enamel due to an imbalance of oral acids. In addition to this, marjuana has been known to cause oral cancer.

   4. Tobacco Effects on Dental Health

Gum disease is very prevalent among chronic tobacco users. Tobacco use has also been known to cause oral and esophageal cancers.

   5. Meth Effects on Dental Health

Poor dental health is associated with meth to the point where it is commonly called “meth mouth”. Meth causes several risk factors for dental health. The first is that meth affects blood vessels by causing them to shrivel up and even die.This poor circulation can cause problems for gums and teeth roots. In addition to this meth also causes dry mouth, which erodes enamel and can cause tooth decay in extreme cases. Furthermore, meth often causes users to grind their teeth and crave foods or drinks with a high sugar content. These things damage dental health further, especially when oral hygiene is neglected along with all of this.

   6. Amphetamines Effects on Dental Health

These include drugs such as Molly and Ecstacy. Like meth, these drugs cause users to grind their teeth and have dry mouth. Tooth grinding can cause teeth to crack and jaw problems to arise. In addition to this dry mouth causes tooth enamel to erode. It also increases your chances for developing gum disease.

   7. Heroin Effects on Dental Health

Heroin has been known to cause tooth grinding even though it is not a stimulant. As mentioned before, grinding teeth causes teeth to crack and issues with the jaw to arise. “In addition to this, injecting heroin puts users at risk for developing bacterial, fungal, and viral infections that can affect dental health.”, says Mat Gorman, CEO at Eudaimonia Recovery Homes. Of course, heroin causes extreme numbness as well, so heroin addicts may not even notice severe dental conditions that normally cause pain.

   8. Prescription Opioid Effects on Dental Health

Like Heroin, prescription opioids cause pain relief. Therefore, any dental problems that are noticeable by the pain they cause may not be noticed. To complicate things, opioids are often prescribed to patients after oral surgery. This can lead to other existing dental conditions to worsen because patients do not recognize it.

   9. Cocaine Effects on Dental Health

Cocaine causes many different dental health problems depending on how it is used. Of course, because cocaine is a stimulant, it can cause users to grind their teeth, which causes jaw problems and cracked teeth. Here are all of the different ways that cocaine can affect oral health depending on its mode of use.

Rubbing Powder Into Gums: Rubbing cocaine powder into gums so it can be absorbed can cause open sores that can become infected.

Smoking: Smoking crack puts the drug in direct contact with teeth. It is very acidic, so it erodes away teeth over time.

Snorting: Snorting cocaine through the nose can erode the tissue of the palate between the nasal cavity and the mouth. In extreme cases, a hole can form between the two.

   10. Other Prescription and Over the Counter Drug Effects on Dental Health

Various prescriptions and over the counter drugs can be acidic and cause side effects that could damage oral health such as dry mouth. For this reason it is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting new medications and to always follow drug instructions provided.


Many different types of drugs can cause poor dental health for various reasons. Unfortunately, things like cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, and even oral cancers are not uncommon among addicts. To prevent serious oral damages from occurring, it is crucial to seek dental treatment and start good oral hygiene early into sober living.


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Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Am Isreal olabanji a dental assistant and public health professionals and has years of experience in assisting the dentist with all sorts of dental issues. We regularly post timely and trustworthy medical information and news. My goal is to enlighten everyone in all aspects of health towards participating in fitness, Dental care, healthy recipes, child health, obstetrics, and more.

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