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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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How Recreational Drugs Harm Your Teeth

It's no secret that drug addiction can lead to serious issues. Recreational drugs can do a number on a person's mind, body, and soul. Drug use means that all of a person's senses are skewed. As a result, periodontal and oral care is overlooked. The teeth of a drug user will take a beating. 

Recreational drug use can have a number of harmful effects on the teeth and mouth:

  • Gum Disease: Gum disease does not favor one drug over the other. It can be caused by actions such as rubbing cocaine on the cheeks or gum line, smoking methamphetamine, and experimenting with marijuana. These practices will eventually lead to decaying teeth and a receding gum line.
  • Severe Tooth Decay: As drug use continues, the enamel on the teeth begins to deteriorate. This will eventually lead to exposure to harmful bacteria that will begin to kill the root of the tooth and cause decay. Any recreational drug can cause severe tooth decay, but people whose drug of choice is cocaine or heroin are at a much higher risk.
  • Dry Mouth: Almost all drug abusers experience dry mouth. The use of drugs damages the saliva glands. This is dangerous for cocaine users due to the acidic mixture of cocaine and saliva that can severely damage the teeth and gums.
  • Teeth Grinding: Teeth grinding can break down the enamel of the teeth. The biggest sufferers of teeth grinding are those who use ecstasy.
  • Jaw Clenching:  This tooth-damaging habit is most common amongst ecstasy users. Clenching of the jaw can damage the muscles, especially if decay of the teeth and Gum Disease is already present.
  • Meth Mouth: Meth mouth is a term specific to those who use methamphetamine. The potent ingredients of methamphetamine cause severe mutilation of the tooth enamel and gums.
  • Cancer: Using recreational drugs can lead to oral cancer. Marijuana and other drugs that smoke can cause precancerous lesions on the gum and cheeks.

Recreational drug use can cause serious damage to the mouth. Oral care to correct the damage is available; however, it can be costly. Depending on the damage, a dentist may recommend the following treatment plans:

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Root canals
  • Fillings
  • Gum graphing
  • Tooth extraction
  • Dentures or tooth implants

The best way to protect teeth from drug use is not to use drugs. If you or someone you love is participating in the use of recreational drugs, seek help. There are plenty of programs that can guide you to a healthier lifestyle and help you be successful.

For a local dentist, contact a doctor such as Davis R Troup DDS PA