black teeth illustration

We are aware that drugs are not good for our health. Drug abuse can lead to many health conditions like heart disease and cancer. However, it’s also essential to consider its effects on oral health. And what drug makes your teeth turn black? There are plenty of harmful substances that affect the teeth. Some of them are illegal drugs like meth, ecstasy, marijuana, and cocaine. If this is the case, and you are noticing your teeth are starting to blacken, do not hesitate and seek help. In Australia, you can easily book an appointment at Harris Dental Boutique in Bundaberg if the need arises and you want a dental expert to care for your needs. Ignoring the symptoms might lead to worse cases of tooth decay and tooth loss.

Effects of Drugs on Teeth

drug effects on teethApart from making your teeth turn black, certain drugs pose harmful threats to your dental health, including:

  • mouth sores
  • inflammation
  • discoloration
  • dry mouth

Many of these side effects can be permanent, and your dentist may even warn you about the upcoming conditions. You must always inform your dentist if you are taking any medications or substances so they can make adjustments to the treatment.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is also known as “crystal meth or meth.” This is also considered the most dangerous drug for your teeth. In fact, due to its severe effects on the mouth, meth users are usually recognized as “meth mouth.” Meth mouth is a condition where the entire teeth are highly damaged and decayed. They make your teeth turn black and wear the teeth away from the gums. Its high acidic ingredients soften the tooth enamel in just a few weeks. Due to this, your teeth may be at risk of cavities and infection caused by bacteria.

The elements in meth and the behavior it presses on a person play a role in how it affects their oral health. Meth use causes rapid tooth decay, discoloration, gum disease, dry mouth, and all other symptoms of meth mouth. Meth abuse is also a cause of anxiety of its users. Anxiety is related to teeth grinding, which is a common cause of oral health issues. Another dental health problem is dry mouth, a condition that encourages bacteria buildup and worsens tooth decay.

Furthermore, meth addiction makes an individual forget their oral hygiene. Instead of brushing and flossing, they end up binge eating food high in sugar to satisfy their cravings, which is another side effect of meth.

Cocaine

Cocaine is another drug that’s full of acidic components. This substance promotes severe tooth decay, gum disease, and the wearing down of enamel. Cocaine addiction destroys the palate, making it hard for a person to eat, speak, and drink.

One of the common habits of users is rubbing the drug in the mouth. This can potentially break the jaw bone and result in mouth ulcers. Like meth, it also causes an individual to develop bruxism or teeth grinding. This can cause you to feel TMJ discomfort and a dry mouth.

Moreover, combining cocaine with other medications may not be a good idea. For instance, getting local anesthetics while you are high can put you at risk of heart diseases.

Marijuana

Marijuana is also used for therapeutic causes. But a lot of people use it for recreational purposes, and that is when addiction begins. Similar to tobacco use, using marijuana frequently can cause cavities and gum disease. It also makes the teeth black as it puts you at risk of oral cancer. According to research, users have a 60% more chance of getting gum disease than others.

Heroin

Heroin abuse has been proven to have a strong link with extreme tooth decay and poor dental health. Addiction to this drug not only makes you neglect your dental hygiene but also encourages you to crave sweet foods and drinks (which are harmful to the teeth). Because of this, dental problems like gum disease, bacterial infection, and tongue discoloration might occur. Heroin also affects the tooth enamel and the gums. It is also one of the drugs that show symptoms of meth mouth.

It is also important to consider the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and cigarettes not only on your oral health but on your entire body as well. Often, drug users combine smoking and alcohol intake, making the risk and complications higher than usual.

Treatment Options

dental treatmentAlways consult a professional dental care provider when it comes to dental treatments. Your dentist will be able to come up with the safest and most viable treatment plan for you. Be honest with your doctor and share the essential details so he can help you better. The key to restoring your oral health is being open with your dentist and letting them know that you are recovering from drug addiction.

So how are you going to restore your pearly whites?

The best way to whiten your discolored teeth is through teeth whitening procedures. Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for this treatment. Also, the treatment will depend on your teeth’ health. If it is badly decayed and can no longer be saved, tooth extraction may be the only solution followed by restoration procedures like crowns, bridges, and implants.

The Takeaway

Overall, drugs do not just waste an individual’s life. It affects their mental, dental, and physical health in general. The best way to prevent dental problems like your teeth turning black or gum disease is to completely stay away from drug use and switch to a healthy lifestyle.

 

 

 

References:

Tooth Discoloration (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10958-tooth-discoloration)

Under the influence: your teeth on drugs (https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/drugs.html)