Drug use and your teeth
Your teeth may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you take drugs. However, the use of some drugs can affect your oral health. And maybe you are already doing something about it unconsciously. Think, for example, of chewing gum with ecstasy.
What can you watch out for when using different drugs? What are more tips & tricks when it comes to your teeth? Read below for each remedy what the risks are for your teeth.
How does ecstasy affect your teeth?
You may recognize that after using ecstasy your jaws are all over the place. Not only annoying and sometimes painful, but the grinding and clenching is also very bad for your teeth. It can damage your tongue, lips and inside of your cheek and can cause pieces of fillings, teeth or molars to break off.
Often users take a chewing gum or lollipop as a reaction, but because they are often full of sugar, that is not a good idea. If you do chew gum, opt for sugar-free ones. Magnesium citrate is also sometimes mentioned to prevent grinding.
A grinding bit can possibly protect the teeth against grinding. But it is better not to use a grinding bit to counteract the grinding during ecstasy use, if you also drink all kinds of sweet drinks this evening. It is precisely those sweet things that remain in the bit and thus the risk of cavities or tooth erosion (wear) can increase.
Then what? An old-fashioned pacifier (90s rave style) can possibly reduce the feeling of clamping and grinding, but even after an evening sucking on a pacifier you can have muscle pain in your jaw the morning after ecstasy use.
Saliva is very important for protecting your enamel, but ecstasy use can cause a dry mouth that can last up to 48 hours. As a result, the risk of cavities (caries) and dental erosion (wear and tear) increases due to a dry mouth in combination with drinking sweet and sour drinks. Medicines to promote saliva production do not really help. Dry mouth can cause mouth problems, especially with regular use.
You may not feel well after or during the use of ecstasy. This increases the chance of vomiting. Vomit is very acidic and damaging to your tooth enamel and can lead to tooth erosion (wear and tear). If you do have to vomit, don’t brush your teeth right away, but first rinse your mouth with a glass of water to neutralize the acid and if necessary wait half an hour after rinsing before brushing.
How does cocaine influence your teeth?
Coke on your gums
Some people think you can test cocaine by putting it on your gums, but this is a myth. It can actually be bad for your teeth. Cocaine on your gums constricts blood vessels, so that fewer nutrients end up in that spot, and less waste is removed. As a result, it can happen that the jawbone breaks down faster in those places.
By the way, putting cocaine on your gums is never a good way to test your coke either. The only way to be sure your cocaine doesn’t contain dangerous adulterants is to take it to the drug testing service, where they will test it for you in a lab. Check drugs-test.nl for a location near you. There are several adulterations that also numb your gums, next to cocaine. So if your gums are numb, that doesn’t mean it’s cocaine at all.
Just like with ecstasy, cocaine can make you grind your teeth quite a bit. In combination with the resistance-lowering effect of cocaine, this can lead to inflammation of your gums and soft tissues of your mouth.
In some cases, long-term cocaine use can lead to a perforation (hole) of the palate or nasal septum. Cocaine has a vasoconstrictor effect and dissolves in the nasal mucosa. As with ‘coke on your gums’ above, the reduced blood supply can cause a reaction in the mucous membrane that also affects the underlying cartilage and can cause a hole in your nasal septum or palate.
Especially if you use cocaine more often attention to your oral hygiene can sometimes be neglected. However, try to remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) and clean between the teeth once a day with a toothpick or brush. Do not eat or drink anything after brushing your teeth in the evening before going to sleep. This way you prevent annoying problems with your teeth.
How does smoking cannabis influence your teeth?
After using cannabis, it can happen that you loot the entire fridge. And especially all the delicious sweet things. Cookies, cake, chocolate…
Everything you eat or drink (with the exception of water) is an attack on your teeth. With sweets, as is often preferred with ‘munchies’, this is even worse. Your teeth can only handle 7 meals a day, so snacking on donuts for a few hours is not good for your teeth. Do you want something sweet or sour? Then eat all the sweet things at once in a row so that you only have one attack or sweet moment for your teeth. Afterwards, rinse your mouth with water and let your teeth rest for a while by not eating or drinking anything. This way your teeth can recover better.
As with other drugs, cannabis can cause a dry mouth sensation. You may know this as ‘cotton mouth’. Without saliva, the risk of cavities (caries) increases, especially if you also combine this with a lot of sweet food. If you drink something to fight your dry mouth, drink water or tea without sugar. All other drinks can contribute to a greater risk of cavities (caries) or tooth erosion (wear and tear).
As with other drugs, cannabis addiction can cause you to lose focus on your oral hygiene. However, try to remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) and clean between the teeth once a day with a toothpick or brush. Do not eat or drink anything after brushing your teeth in the evening before going to sleep. This way you prevent annoying problems with your teeth.
What does smoking tobacco do to your teeth?
Maybe not harmful, but very annoying. Not only will your clothes and the room in which you smoke tobacco start to smell of smoke, it also gives you bad breath.
When you smoke tobacco, you damage your oral tissues all the time. This increases your risk of gum disease and gum disease. This can lead to breakdown of the underlying jaw bone (periodontitis), cavities and even oral cancer. Also, wounds in your mouth can heal worse due to the use of tobacco. This can cause problems after, for example, pulling a tooth.
In extreme cases, tobacco smoking can also lead to implant loss.
What does alcohol do to your teeth?
Damage to your teeth
If you drink alcohol, your bodily coordination is affected negatively, which might cause you to fall. Or maybe you just have a shorter fuse. This makes fighting someone because he was standing on your feet, suddenly seems like a good idea. Falling and fighting can break your teeth or even your jaw.
Riding a bicycle with alcohol is also not a good idea. It can even lead to a fracture of your jaw after a fall. So keep in mind that after alcohol you are less stable on your legs and you can get hurt.
You may not feel well after or during the use of alcohol. This increases the chance of vomiting. Vomit is very acidic and damaging to your tooth enamel and can lead to tooth erosion (wear and tear). If you do have to vomit, don’t brush your teeth right away. First rinse your mouth with a glass of water to neutralize the acid and if necessary wait half an hour after rinsing before brushing.
Many sweet alcoholic drinks contain a lot of sugar. Sugar is bad for your teeth. Again, it is better to rinse thoroughly before brushing your teeth.