Oral problems are very common on people who suffer from substance abuse. Some substances affect teeth and gums and can be very uncomfortable and do not look very pleasing.  Some examples of oral problems associated with substance abuse are, gross dental decay, broken teeth, periodontal disease, and ulcers on the oral mucosa. Many people who suffer from substance abuse have very low oral hygiene, this can be from the substance they forget to brush and floss for days sometimes. If they have pain they self-medicate themselves and don’t see a dentist until their teeth or tooth are in a very bad condition. Some common substance are alcohol, meth, heroin, and stimulants.

Alcohol abuse can cause cavities. Certain types of alcohol drinks contain sugar and frequent drinking can affect your teeth. Drinking alcohol can also demineralize the tooth causing sensitivity or pain in some instances. Alcohol can also be very harmful to the gums, causing recession and discomfort. Heavy drinking also cause people to vomit causing acid to stay in the mouth that deteriorates the enamel.

Meth Mouth is severe tooth decay or tooth loss, it also causes changing color of the teeth. Meth stop saliva glands from saliva flow, this causes dry mouth which leads to tooth decay. Dry mouth is very harmful, it allows the acid from food and drinks to eat away the enamel of the tooth. Meth mouth also cause the person to clinch and grind their teeth, this causes teeth to chip or break. When this drug is smoked it causes sores inside the mouth from the chemicals of the drug. If the drug is infiltrated through the nose it passes through the throat causing irritation.

Stimulants like cocaine or ecstasy also causes the person to clinch their teeth causing chips or broken teeth. Some cases are severe that the person clinches and damages the root of teeth causing the patient to need major dental treatment. Orthodontic treatment, root canal treatment and tmj problems are some problems that can occur when people use these types of stimulants.  Stimulants also causes dry mouth which also leads to dental decay.

Heroin is very common to cause long term dental troubles.  They also develop similar problems as methamphetamine users. Teeth tend to become loose, snap off, or have trouble with the gums. Many heroin users are also addicted to cigarettes which can lead to very bad periodontal disease.  Oral fungal infections and other viral infections can be a result of heroin.

All these substances are very harmful not just for your oral health, but also to your overall general health. It is very important to speak to a physician, dentist, or counselor if you have a substance abuse. Your physician, dentist, or counselor can help you create a plan on how to stop the substance abuse.