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Tobacco, Alcohol, And Drugs: The Oral Health Effects

 

Spend any time exposed to pop culture and you’re probably familiar with the term “meth mouth.” Jokes about brown, worn, and decayed teeth are everywhere, but humor hides the fact that substance use has a serious effect on your oral health.

We’ve been restoring smiles for decades at New Albany Implants, and some of the most complicated cases are those related to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Substance use and abuse can cause excess wear, increase chances of decay, and even outright destroy teeth. Don’t let you or someone you love lose their wonderful smile because of drugs!

A Smoky Smile Isn’t Sexy

We all know a smoker or two. If they’ve been at it for years their teeth are discolored, their breath smells, and they probably have cavities and/or gum disease. Tobacco use is incredibly destructive to your mouth not only because it messes with the look of your teeth but also because it changes the makeup of your oral bacteria.

We generally have around 300 strains of oral bacteria in our mouth. Some are harmless while others cause gum disease and tooth decay. Cultures taken from the mouths of smokers have actually show to have fewer strains of bacteria, but far more population of the harmful kind.

This increase in dangerous bacteria greatly increases your chances of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Not a very good prospect if you want a healthy mouth!

Cocktails: More Than Just A Good Evening

Drinkers, whether bingers or frequent consumers, are putting their teeth and gums at risk. Oral bacteria simply love the amount of sugars in most alcoholic drinks, which helps them produce acids that wear away at your enamel and irritate your gums.

Binge drinkers might actually have it worse, especially if they frequently drink until throwing up. Not only are they super saturating their teeth in sugars, but throwing up can actually be a huge contributor to tooth decay! The stomach acids that come up along with the excess booze can cause the same amount, or possibly more, damage than plaque acids.

That doesn’t mean alcoholics are out of the woods: regular consumption is a sure fire way to end up ruining your teeth and gums as well.

What Exactly IS Meth Mouth?

Like we mentioned earlier, methamphetamines have a reputation for ruining teeth, and for a good reason: there’s a laundry list of ways it can ruin your teeth!

  • Meth users frequently grind their teeth, destroying enamel and increasing the chance of tooth decay.
  • Saliva production is mostly stopped in people under the effects of meth, which in turn prevents your mouth from cleaning itself. Saliva is an essential part of a healthy mouth, and without it plaque and acids just sit on your teeth!
  • Meth is made with a lot of dangerous chemicals that are incredibly harsh on your teeth and gums. They can cause sores, further dry the mouth, and even coat the teeth and cause damage and decay.

Stimulants: They Also Speed Up Tooth Destruction

It’s not just meth that causes teeth grinding: most stimulants can cause a similar reaction as well. Over time enamel wear can also be joined by chipping, cracking, and fracturing that completely destroys teeth. Fractured teeth usually have to be extracted!

What isn’t ruined by fractures and cracks is usually lost to teeth being loosened. Continued grinding of the teeth loosens them, causing the gums to recede, the bone sockets to enlarge, and the teeth to eventually fall out.

We Can Restore Your Damaged Smile

Whenever a person can kick a horrible habit like drug addiction it’s always a cause for celebration. Unfortunately a lot of people still carry stigmas that come with heavy substance use, especially the physical scars that mar their smiles.

Repairing your teeth is important, no matter how they became damaged, so don’t hesitate to contact our New Albany office so we can restore your teeth for good. We offer crowns, bridges, dental implants, and other treatments that can have your smile looking great in no time.

You should be happy with who you are, and that often means having a good smile as well as a healthy lifestyle. Let us make you look like the person you’ve become – call New Albany Implants today at 888-469-3982 or request a consultation appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!