Crack cocaine is an illicit drug and is a form of cocaine that is made from powdered cocaine. It is highly illegal, dangerous, and incredibly addictive.
Both short-term and long-term crack cocaine use can have countless harmful effects on many systems in your body, including your oral health and your teeth.
In fact, many kinds of drug abuse can affect your oral health, causing issues like meth mouth or crack mouth.
Learn more about side effects of crack cocaine.
Effects Of Crack Cocaine Use On Your Teeth
Though it can be used in a number of ways such as snorting, smoking, or injecting, crack cocaine can affect the health of your teeth with any method of use.
Additionally, the health of your mouth, in general, can be compromised.
One way crack cocaine can affect your teeth is by causing tooth decay. This is because cocaine in general can cause dry mouth.
When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, your risk of tooth decay becomes more likely.
Additionally, when used orally or snorted, cocaine can cause tooth decay much like methamphetamine. This is because both substances are very acidic and the acids can break down tooth enamel.
Unsurprisingly, tooth loss is another common side effect of crack cocaine use. As mentioned above, the drug often causes tooth decay.
This decay, if left untreated, can eventually lead to tooth loss. Decay typically requires professional dentistry to treat.
Another issue affecting the teeth that is commonly seen with crack cocaine abuse is bruxism. Bruxism is a medical condition that causes extreme clenching or teeth grinding.
When it comes to crack use, bruxism can be worsened if already a problem or develop as a new issue. This condition is linked to crack cocaine due to its stimulant effects.
Bruxism can lead to a variety of additional issues such as jaw pain, headaches, tooth pain, and tooth damage.
Crack cocaine use is associated frequently with dry mouth. The reason for this is that cocaine of all forms reduces your saliva production, sometimes to the point of a condition called xerostomia.
Simply put, xerostomia occurs when your salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to stay wet. This can cause issues such as tooth decay and loss.
Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
One more long-term issue associated with crack abuse is gum disease or periodontitis. Crack cocaine can cause gum disease, as it’s a result of xerostomia.
Periodontitis is a severe infection and can lead to additional issues such as oral pain, tooth loss, and lesions.
Lastly, using crack cocaine can cause dry mouth. This condition alone is not necessarily dangerous, but it can progress into xerostomia quickly if it becomes severe enough.
How Oral Health Affects The Rest Of The Body
Oral health plays a role in the rest of your body’s functions.
In other words, if your dental health deteriorates due to crack use, it can lead to more serious health problems and complications in other parts of your body.
These complications are severe and require attention from a healthcare professional.
Sudden Changes In Blood Pressure
Believe it or not, poor oral health has actually been linked to effects on blood pressure. Specifically, issues such as periodontitis can cause your blood pressure to increase.
This is an issue because high blood pressure puts you at a higher risk of developing a lot of other harmful medical conditions.
Increased Risk Of Infection
As your oral health declines, you may also experience increased risk of infection. This is because gum disease and tooth decay can make it easier for bacteria to enter your bloodstream.
Increased Risk Of Heart Attack
Another serious risk associated with poor oral health is an increased risk of heart attack. This issue is also highly associated with gum disease.
Lastly, declining oral health can lead to blood clots. This is a result of tooth decay and gum disease, specifically.
Blood clots can lead to problems such as heart attack, stroke, and aneurysm.
Signs Of Tooth Decay From Crack Cocaine Use
Tooth decay can become severe with crack cocaine use very quickly. However, there are a couple of signs that may help detect it.
Black Or Cracked Teeth
Some of the most obvious signs of tooth decay are physical appearance. Teeth that have begun to decay will often be black in color or appear cracked. This is usually a sign of cavities.
Pain In The Mouth
Another sign is based on physical sensation. If you experience any pain in the mouth such as toothache, sensitivity, or pain when you bite down, this could be a sign of tooth decay.
Treatment Options For Crack Cocaine Addiction
Crack cocaine addiction is a serious matter that can be fatal in addition to harming your oral health. Getting crack addiction treatment is the first step in making a recovery.
If you’re unsure where to start, Bedrock Recovery Center, located in Canton, MA, is a highly rated and accredited rehab center.
At Bedrock, we treat a variety of kinds of substance abuse, including crack cocaine addiction. Treatment programs may include medication-assisted treatment, detoxification, mental health support, and inpatient services, depending on your needs.
Find Drug Rehab Services At Bedrock Recovery Center
Are you ready to learn to manage crack cocaine drug use? Call our helpline at Bedrock Recovery Center today to learn more about our effective addiction treatment options.