Dental Guides

Things To Know About Drugs & Oral Hygiene

We all know that drugs are bad for us. It’s why many of them are illegal and why we’re told from a young age to avoid them. However, that doesn’t stop many and with the legalisation of cannabis in many parts of the world, consumption is only going to increase.

However, while there are many health risks with all types of drugs, one part of the body we really don’t want to upset is our mouths. Our smiles can often control how we feel and people have poor oral hygiene can slip into a poor state of mental health as well as having all manner of problems with their mouths.

So, what exactly can drugs cause to happen with our oral hygiene?


If you go into any opiate addiction rehab, one thing you’ll notice is the state of people’s oral health. Whether a person has spent their time rubbing cocaine into their gums or snorting the substance, it can have a dramatic impact on oral health.

At its most severe, the tissue between a person’s nose and mouth can collapse, requiring significant surgery, while cocaine abuse can also lead to tooth decay, mouth sores and rotting.


Of course, for anyone struggling with heroin addiction, there are plenty more problems than what’s going on in their mouth, but it can leave your oral hygiene in a pretty gruesome state.

Teeth will become discoloured and rotten, often eventually falling out, while gum disease is also common, while many addicts will also grind their teeth which again, is only going to cause further damage, particularly with heroin being a painkiller and those on it unable to feel the pain caused by it.


Cannabis is legal in many parts of the world now, but people don’t quite understand the damage it can cause to your oral hygiene. Links have been found between cannabis users and mouth cancer, while it can also discolour teeth and lead to pretty severe mouth ulcers.

Among the side effects of cannabis consumption is also nausea and vomiting, with the acids thrown up when being sick also stripping the enamel from your teeth, which can contribute to tooth decay.


Perhaps the worst substance for bad oral hygiene is meth. It’s abused more commonly than you would think and it can have a devastating impact on your smile. Around 96% of people who use meth have cavities, while 60% have tooth decay, showing just how impactful it is.

It can lead to a problem that is known as “meth mouth”, which is essentially due to the acidity in the substance stripping away the enamel on teeth and causing major rotting, and cause serious problems long term.

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