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Impact Of Addiction On Oral Health: Let’s Know From The Experts

Oral HealthOral hygiene is one of the most important things to maintain in your daily life. Good oral hygiene starts with clean teeth, proper dental care habits, and awareness of daily behavior that keeps your teeth clean.

The behavior includes brushing and flossing your teeth daily to prevent any oral diseases from a very young age. In addition, nutrition, regularly cleaning your health, and your medical history impact your overall health standing.

Why Is Oral Health Important?

A healthy mouth is essential for a healthy body. Unfortunately, tobacco use, excessive alcohol, and drug abuse can cause the oral cavity to deteriorate over time. This will expose your general health to several risks.

Once your general health condition falters, it can further affect your oral health. As a result, you fall victim to a never-ending vicious cycle.

Hence, it is important to stage an intervention or group therapy if your family member is suffering from addiction. To know more, click here to contact.

Common risk factors associated with poor oral health include – 

  • Heart Disease: Oral care is important. Just like you eat every day, oral care is something that you need to adhere to every day. Gingivitis is likely to develop if you neglect your oral health care for a long time. And as we all know, gum disease is related to several cardiovascular diseases.
  • Chronic Diseases: Oral health problems are not only limited to heart disease. It can also result in diabetes. Your blood sugar might increase or decrease based on the food you eat. This also increases the chances of a stroke at a young age.
  • Weakened Immune System: Poor dental health problems are linked to weak immune systems. The reason why your oral health has suffered is because of your poor diet and addiction. This keeps your body from getting the necessary nutrients. And when your body doesn’t have all the nutrients, the immune system suffers.

Ways In Which Addiction Can Affect Your Oral Health

Nicotine is the major reason behind oral health problems worldwide. No matter which oral addiction you are doing, it contains nicotine in it. About 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes. Additionally, 16 million smokers are suffering from smoke-related diseases. 

The serious oral health condition linked to the following –

1. Dental Erosion

Dental erosion is the condition where the upper layer of enamel is eroded due to acidic substances. The condition is irreversible because the enamel cannot regrow. If we relate dental erosion to addiction, it has been seen that excessive exposure to alcohol can lead to dental erosion.

Enamel erosion has a direct link to alcohol abuse. This is because when someone drinks excessive alcohol, they experience frequent vomiting. This exposes your teeth to stomach acids.

Furthermore, consuming acidic alcoholic beverages can also result in enamel erosion.

2. Dental Caries

Poor dental hygiene is a common trait in addiction. When a person is exposed to excessive alcohol consumption, they experience the oral dry effect, which contributes to the formation of plaque.

For people who don’t know what plaque is, plaque is a sticky layer that triggers the inflammatory effect in your gums.

If the plaque isn’t removed completely, it hardens over time, resulting in cavities. If this problem is left untreated, it can permanently damage your tooth.

3. Mouth Sore

It is not surprising that heavy drinking is the second leading cause of cancer in the world. According to a report, it has been seen that people with four drinks a day are five times more likely to fall victim to cancer.

Mouth cancer is a common disease a person can experience while affiliating themselves with smoking and drinking.

4. Gum Diseases

Gum diseases are yet another problem people face during addiction, especially people who are chain smokers. In addition, when people associate themselves with longer-term smoking practices, their mouth becomes dry. Dry mouth results in increased plaque build-up.

Over time this plaque results in Gingivitis. It is an irreversible gum disease that damages your teeth permanently.

5. Nutritional Deficiencies

Drug users are less likely to visit a dentist to take care of their deteriorating oral health. This is because once a person becomes dependent on drugs, they only think of getting more of it.

As a result, people suffering from drug addiction do not brush their teeth and typically eat inexpensive foods that are high in sugar.

Now, there are some people who go too deep into their addiction. They tend to forget to eat on time and look for every opportunity to feed their addiction. This results in malnutrition.

An Addict’s Lifestyle Is Not Good For Oral Health!

Until now, we have only talked about how addiction affects oral health. But, there are times when addiction is the secondary reason for oral health deterioration.

There are many many drugs that make the individual crave sweet food, junk food, or foods with high sugar levels. We all know sugary food is the major reason behind building plaque.

Drug addicts often have poor diets. Now, this can either – 

– They don’t have money (because all the money goes to feeding their addiction).

– Or, Don’t have an interest in preparing healthy foods.

In fact, many addicts simply ignore their oral hygiene because they don’t really care about such things anymore. If you see an addict, you will instantly know they are the one – It’s because of their unhygienic physical appearance.

Final Thoughts

Addiction can throw victims into a vicious cycle. When a person is suffering from addiction, they tend to not care about their eating habits. As a result, they are on an unhealthy diet which weakens their immune system. When the immune system weakens, it affects their oral health.

This throws the never-ending loop.

The further the individual spirals into the addiction, the more difficult it becomes for them to stop using and address their oral health problems.

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