05 Apr

New study backs link between drug abuse and poor oral health

shutterstock_367937903New research has suggested a link between poor oral health and drug abuse, adding to a growing body of evidence that supports the notion that using illegal drugs harms the teeth and gums.
A new review, which has been published online by the journal, Addiction, claims that people who use illegal drugs are more likely to suffer from gum disease and decay than non-drug users. The report also suggested that drug users were less likely to see a dentist than those who don’t take drugs.
The review claimed that drug use has several implications for oral health, based on links between using drugs and increased frequency of eating and snacking, an elevated risk of dry mouth and grinding the teeth and exposure to acid erosion caused by cocaine and eating foods that are high in sugar.
The situation is compounded by the fact that people who take drugs are less likely to see a dentist than the average person, putting their oral health at risk. Research also shows that avoiding the dentist can have a profound impact on confidence and well-being, as well as life-threatening consequences for general health.
The review included data from 28 studies, which have been carried out in different countries around the world. More than 4,000 patients with a history of substance abuse and 23,000 controls were involved.