How to repair teeth damage that has resulted from addiction
Healthy teeth and gums rely on good oral hygiene, a low-sugar diet and regular dental visits. However, some drugs can cause teeth to become damage, particularly as a result from addiction.
Substance abuse takes its toll and can lead to teeth cavities, cracks and in extreme cases, a loss of teeth. Getting over an addiction is difficult, and if it has caused your teeth to become damaged this can only add to the struggle. However, it is possible to repair teeth damage. It’s important to inform your dentist of any drugs you are taking or have taken in the past so they can properly advise the best course of treatment. But here are some of the options that might be available.
Repairing stain damage to teeth
Tobacco addiction can cause a range of tooth problems, however, staining is common damage suffered by those with an addiction. Smoking can cause teeth to become discoloured and look yellow, which can cause you to feel insecure about your teeth.
Although you can buy teeth whitening kits on the high street, it is highly recommended you receive tooth whitening treatments by a dental care professional. Without dental advice, you can be at risk of increased tooth sensitivity if you were to try out teeth whitening at home, further adding damage.
Repairing tooth decay
Research has found that having a cannabis or cocaine addiction can lead to tooth decay and even missing teeth. It was reported that those addicted to such drugs had on average 3.5 fewer teeth than those who did not use them.
Cocaine, when mixed with saliva in the mouth, creates an extremely acidic solution, that causes the enamel to erode and exposes the teeth to bacteria that can cause decaying. However, tooth decay can be repaired. If your tooth decay is in earlier stages, before a cavity has formed, then fluoride can be used to treat your teeth.
As addiction can lead to serious damage, however, treatments are a bit more complex. For any holes in teeth, a filling or a crown can be used to cover the tooth. If tooth decay has spread, then your dentist might advise on root canal treatment to remove the tooth decay. For any damage that cannot be restored, your dentist might advice removing all or part of the tooth.
Repairing lost or removed teeth
Drugs can cause severe damage to teeth, particularly methamphetamine, otherwise known as meth, which can lead to tooth decay in a short amount of time. In fact, the term “meth mouth” is used to describe extensive damage caused by this addiction.
This severe damage can often lead to tooth loss or teeth having to be removed and your dentist might recommend one of the following procedures. Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, giving a natural look and feel to the mouth.
Composite bonding is another treatment that can be used to repair damaged teeth. This process involves using composite resin to repair any chips, cracks or broken teeth to improve your smile and the proportions of your teeth. The resin is made to match with the colour of your teeth too, therefore the treatment blends in naturally.
If you live in the London area and have suffered with tooth loss as a result of addiction, Ten Dental is a dentist in Balham, focus on patient care so you can be assured you’ll receive quality and confidential care.