How Drug Abuse Affects Dental Health: 3 Ways to Beat the Addiction
If you are currently addicted to a substance and are concerned about your health, let's take a closer look at exactly how drugs impact dental health and what you can do to overcome your addiction.
When the topic of addiction comes up, we often think about the damage done to an individual's personal relationships, finances, and mental health. Beyond all of these consequences, however, there are also the physical problems caused by repeated drug use. One of the most impacted areas caused by substance abuse is the mouth, especially since this is the entry point for many substances. If you are currently addicted to a substance and are concerned about your health, let's take a closer look at exactly how drugs impact dental health and what you can do to overcome your addiction.
Drugs and Dental Health: The Connection
Many drugs, especially those that are taken orally, are harmful to your teeth and gums. For example, popular street drugs like cocaine, meth, and MDMA are all common culprits or poor oral health (albeit for many different reasons). Cocaine is very acidic, leading to the breakdown of teeth, gums, and areas of the mouth and nasal cavities where the substance travels. Meth, on the other hand, causes blood vessels in the mouth to die and enamel to wear away while MDMA causes users to grind and crack their teeth. Even minor substances like alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana can cause dental problems. Fortunately, these issues can be fixed with a quick visit to local Bronx dentists. Taking care of the underlying addiction, however, will take a bit more effort. But how can you take care of your addiction so that future dental problems won't occur?
How Can I Recover From My Addiction?
1. Reach Out for the Medical Attention You Need
The first step to overcoming an addiction is to admit that you need help and seek it out. Oftentimes, those who have been addicted to a substance for a significant amount of time will need the assistance of an establishment that can provide them with medical and psychological healthcare. Addiction is very much a physical experience. When you quit, you will start to experience (sometimes severe) withdrawal symptoms that will need to be carefully monitored until you have completely detoxed. Once you are in the right position to battle your addiction, you can begin utilizing some of the tips below.
2. Sign Up for Individual or Group Counseling
Long after you have been released from a center, you will need to continue your counseling to ensure that you have the support that you need to stay on track. If you prefer one-on-one attention, you may want to consider reaching out to a private therapist who has experience working with people who struggle with addiction. If you are looking for a more affordable experience and one in which you will receive support from people in a similar situation, you can sign up for group counseling instead. Either way, it is important that you have some kind of support network to avoid falling back into old habits.
3. Find New Activities to Replace Your Addiction
Living without substances can be a major life adjustment. Rather than simply existing during your free time, find new hobbies that occupy your time and keep your mind off of drugs. However, make sure that your new hobbies don't become your new addiction. Addiction, regardless of how healthy the new activity is, is still dangerous to your physical and mental health.
Although substance abuse can be difficult to overcome, understand just how it affects the body can be a great motivator to get well and kick your habit. If you are curious about how your substances are impacting your oral health and how you can put a stop to it, use the guide above as an incentive to overcome your substance abuse problem.