Do Drugs Cause Tooth Decay

May 26, 2022, Crawford and O brein

Tooth decay is considered one of the most prevalent conditions after the flu. People think that only high sugar content can destroy tooth heath. In reality, many drugs can also begin the process. Many issues can occur as a result of doing drugs excessively including the harmful influence that drugs can have on persons who use them. Many illegal drugs have the potential to seriously harm a person's teeth and potentially cause tooth loss. However, one must first recognize that broken teeth are more than merely ugly. Damaged or rotting teeth can cause physical health problems in addition to cosmetic issues. As a result, people who use drugs must understand how their substance addiction is harming their teeth and seek the treatment they need to stop. Let’s review in detail how drugs cause tooth decay.

What is tooth decay?

When there is damage to the enamel of the tooth, it is known as tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria that are present in the mouth make the type of acid that is harmful to the health of the enamel.

  • Common causes of tooth decay
  • Some of the most common causes of tooth decay are:
  • Bacteria in your mouth
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Foods that are rich in sugar
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Drug abuse

How can drug abuse cause tooth decay?

Abusing drugs can have very harmful effects on the health of your teeth. Drugs are famous for the euphoria they cause, but did you know they also cause tooth decay. Drugs can make you crave sugar and sugar-rich items such as sweets and fizzy drinks. These sugar-rich items can trigger tooth damage. Dry mouth can also be caused by drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin. When the mouth is dry it means there is less saliva flow in the mouth, and tooth decay and gum disease might occur. Ecstasy and cocaine, for example, can cause jaw clenching and tooth grinding. This can lead to cracked or broken teeth, migraines, and jaw pain. Being 'high' on drugs may also make you forget to wash your teeth on a regular basis. This could result in gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

When people consume anything acidic, their teeth experience an 'acid attack' that lasts for up to an hour or more. Our enamel is compromised at this time, and our saliva is working to bring the mouth to a neutral pH level. Because drugs restrict the amount of saliva you generate, this process may take much longer than usual, and your teeth may be attacked for an extended length of time. When you consume sugar, it combines with the plaque in your mouth, causing plaque acids to be produced. These acids are what damage our teeth and create decay.

Drugs that cause tooth decay

Drugs that quickly deteriorate tooth health include;

  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Amphetamines
  • Opioids and Opiates
  • Marijuana
  • Tobacco
  • Adderall

Harmful effects of drugs on oral health

Not only drugs are intoxicants and destroy your physical and mental health, but they also cause tooth decay as well. Drugs can destroy oral health and onset early tooth decay. Here are the most common ways drugs destroy oral health. They can cause:

  • Dry mouth
  • Ulcers
  • Rots teeth
  • Less blood flows to the gum and roots

How to prevent tooth decay caused by drugs?
Tooth decay caused by drugs is not reversible. But can be prevented in the future if you follow the guidelines of a dental specialist. Regular oral hygiene practice at home can assist to mitigate the harm caused by drug and alcohol use. However, minimizing or eliminating these harmful habits is the best long-term answer for your overall health as well as the health of your teeth and gums. Therefore, quit doing drugs in order to save your teeth from decaying. Brushing your teeth twice and avoiding drugs and items high in sugar content should retain dental health in no time. Speaking of dental health, make sure to visit your dentist for a regular check-up also. Lastly, try to increase the intake of water.

Bottom line…

Illicit drugs are considered illicit due to a reason. One f the many reasons is how harmful they are to your oral health. Doing drugs can cause tooth decay and in the long run, can even cause mouth cancer. Taking care of your teeth and overall body is your duty to yourself. Do not let the short-lived euphoria that drugs give destroy your oral health with your own hands. Drugs have acidic properties and ruin your body. Along with tooth decay dugs can destroy the health of gums as well. Damage to oral health means that you will have to make constant trips to the dentist’s office, which is not wise under the current circumstances. So, quit drugs and get addiction treatment if you cannot quit drugs on your own.


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