The Dental Damage Done by Illegal Drugs

Posted .

Alcohol and tobacco, legal drugs somewhat acceptable in society today, have already been known to be harmful for your teeth and gums. Indeed, many prescription drugs do equal damage. What is not talked about frequently is the destructive nature that illegal drugs have on your oral health. Here is some info that you might like to know.


As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, heavy marijuana smokers are seven times as likely to get periodontal (gum) disease than non-smokers. The numbers are practically the same for tobacco smokers.


Meth causes the most damaging tooth decay among illegal drug users. In fact, “meth mouth” is a common term that pinpoints its destructive focus upon the mouth.

What is the reason for meth’s harmful specificity? It is incredibly acidic. The acid wears away the enamel on teeth. If that weren’t bad enough, because of the drug’s stimulating effect, persons who abuse methamphetamine also tend to clench their jaws and grind their teeth which helps along gum disease and tooth loss. Typically, addicts eat foods high in sugar and starch which increases the bacteria in the mouth, which in turn contributes greatly to tooth decay.

Other Drugs

Many other types of drugs both legal and illegal are problematic as well. For instance, ecstasy wears down teeth and ruins enamel as its users clench and grind due to the euphoric high it provides. Chronic dry mouth is another side-effect that goes hand in hand with many drugs known to dehydrate the body. Avoid all of these problems by simply saying no to illegal drugs.

If you have questions about drugs and dental health, call Dr. Glenn D. Balkins, Mark P. Swensen and Dr. Haslam for more information. Please contact North Point Dental Group, LLC to make an appointment at: 541-754-4017, or come by our office in Corvallis, Oregon.