Illegal Drugs and Your Dental Health

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Tobacco use and heavy drinking are well-known to be detrimental to oral health, but did you know that illegal drugs are also damaging? Research has shown that illegal substances also adversely affect your dental health. Here’s how…


Widely used and legal in a handful of states, marijuana is the most popular illegal drug of choice in the U.S.A. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association heavy marijuana smokers are almost 7x more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. Similar findings result in smoking tobacco.


Known by its shortened form as “meth,” it causes serious tooth decay among its users. In fact, “meth mouth” is a common term heard to describe its destructive oral focus.

The reason for meth’s harmful specificity is that it is highly acidic, which wears away the enamel of the tooth. Also, those who use meth tend to clench their jaws and grind their teeth due to the drug’s effect upon them. This also is problematic for gum disease and tooth loss. Generally, meth users also have poor eating habits and dental hygiene as well. Sugars from soft drinks and starches contribute greatly to tooth decay when bad oral hygiene is also in the mix.

Other Illegal Drugs

It is clear that many types of illegal drugs can cause similar dental dilemmas. Ecstasy also wears down teeth and ruins enamel as its users clench and grind due to the euphoric high. Chronic dry mouth is another side-effect that goes hand in hand with many drugs known to dehydrate the body. It is best to quit drugs altogether and avoid fractured teeth, painful cavities, and gum disease.

If you have questions about drugs and dental health, call Dr. William Schell for more information. Please contact William W. Schell, DDS to make an appointment at: 972-618-0084, or come by our office in Plano, Texas.