Substance Use and Abuse

Drugs and alcohol have both total body and oral health consequences.

Nicotine causes vasoconstriction of vessels in the mouth.

Tobacco users are prone to:

  • Lung and oral cancer
  • Periodontal disease (even among teenage smokers)

Alcohol users can develop:

  • Oral cancer (synergistic with tobacco)
  • Poor hygiene and resultant caries or periodontal disease

Marijuana:

  • Periodontitis
  • Leukoplakia

Methamphetamines:

  • Bruxism
  • Decreased saliva production
  • Poor hygiene
  • Rampant Caries (e.g., meth mouth)

Cocaine:

  • Increased decayed and missing teeth

"Meth Mouth"

James Cecil, DMD, MPH
James Cecil, DMD, MPH

Red/White Leukoplakia

Brad Neveille, DDS
Brad Neveille, DDS

Oral Cancer

Ellen Eisenberg, DMD
Ellen Eisenberg, DMD

References

Heikkinen AM, Pajukanta R, Pitka¨niemi, J, Broms U, Sorsa T, Koskenvuo M, Meurman JH. The Effect of Smoking on Periodontal Health of 15- to 16-Year-Old Adolescents. J Periodontol 2008; 79:2042-2047.

Majchrzak E, Szybiak B, Wegner A, et al. Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Young Adults: A Review of the Literature. Radiology and Oncology. 2014. 48(1): 1–10.

Meier MH, Caspi A, Cerdá M, et al. Associations Between Cannabis Use and Physical Health Problems in Early Midlife. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016; 73(7): 731-740.

Cury PR, Oliveira MG, de Andrade KM, et al. Dental Health Status in Crack/Cocaine Addicted Men; A Cross Sectional Study Env Sci Pollution Res. 2017; 24(8):7585-90.

Stanciu CN1, Glass M, Muzyka BC, Glass OM. "Meth Mouth": An Interdisciplinary Review of a Dental and Psychiatric Condition. J Addict Med 2017; 11(4):250-255.