How Drugs and Alcohol Damage Oral Health

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Millions of Americans of all age groups experiment with drugs and alcohol for recreational use in order to enjoy themselves and temporarily forget about their problems. However, because the ‘high’ from drugs and alcohol eventually expires, people continue to take more to maintain that feeling of euphoria and a sense of freeness. Overconsuming drugs and alcohol not only negatively impacts the brain and internal organs, but it can also have an adverse effect on oral health in the long run. Understanding how drugs and alcohol harm the teeth and gums will help individuals make better lifestyle choices in order to maintain great oral health.

How Drugs Harm Teeth and Gums

After taking certain drugs, individuals may find themselves having sugar cravings for sweets, sodas, and/or juice. When individuals are high, they often feel carefree and don’t see an issue with the food they consume because it tastes good. However, consuming too much sugar on a daily basis can eventually lead to tooth decay, which results from constant acid attacks from the bacteria in the mouth that latches onto the sugar. If left untreated, tooth decay could lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

Other drugs like methamphetamine and heroin can lead to dry mouth. Excessive dry mouth can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay since the saliva isn’t washing away food particles and bacteria.

Drugs like ecstasy and cocaine can cause individuals to constantly clench their jaws or grind their teeth, which could lead to broken or cracked teeth. If the teeth crack far enough, the pulp could be damaged and cause intense pain.

Lastly, always being ‘high’ could cause individuals to forget to brush their teeth twice daily and floss at least once daily. Not practicing good oral hygiene along with constantly taking drugs is a quick way to develop oral complications that prevent individuals from enjoying the smiles they desire.

How Alcohol Affects Teeth and Gums

Certain alcoholic beverages like white wine, beer, and cider, can be very acidic, which could lead to enamel erosion and result in lots of painHow How Drugs and Alcohol Damage Oral Health Negatively Impact Oral Health and tooth sensitivity. Other drinks like vodka and whiskey could lead to dry mouth since they have high alcohol content. Almost all mixed drinks are full of sugar, which could cause dental decay.

Drinking sugary or acidic alcohol beverages cause acid attacks that can last up to an hour each time. When acid attacks the teeth, the enamel weakens temporarily until the saliva restores its neutral pH level. However, when the mouth is dry, saliva cannot restore the mouth to normal levels nor rinse away the harmful bacteria.

Therefore, it’s important for individuals to refrain from excessive alcohol and drug use because they are preventing themselves from having healthy, bright smiles.

San Diego Preventative Dentistry

At McBride Dental, we offer various dental services for our patients who would like to keep their teeth healthy and bright and their gums in excellent condition. Some of our services include deep cleanings, gum disease treatment, cavity fillings, dental implants, teeth whitening, and more. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment with us, call us now at (760) 471-1003.

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