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Does Drug Use Damage Your Teeth?

By Expert Author: Dr. Basim Elhabashy

Drugs and damage to teeth: the co-relation.

Teeth develop in utero, and the drugs that are taken during pregnancy by the mother have a definite impact on the development of teeth of the unborn baby. Tetracycline is an antibiotic drug and when taken during pregnancy causes permanent browning and yellowing of teeth. One more drug, fluoride is commonly added to water supplies to make the teeth grow stronger and cavities free. But when the amount of drug intake is higher as in Colorado Springs natural water, it causes white spots, brown spots and eventually tooths damage. There are some medications that cause overgrowth of the gums over the teeth. They make the appearance of the teeth bad and the gums look boggy. This condition is called as gingival hyperplasia.

The drugs which cause such appearance are drugs for epilepsy such as phenytoin, cyclosporine which is an anticancer drug or drug for organ transplant rejection, nifedipine which is a calcium channel blocker used in hypertension cases. There are some over the counter drugs that cause inflammation of the gums and hence tooth problems. Some of these drugs are antihistamines or drugs for asthma which cause dry mouth and hence more cavities in the teeth. The tooth loss is subsequent higher.

Using aspirin for either pain relief or chewing it for local effects can damage the enamel of the tooth since it is acidic and erodes the outer layer of the tooth. Chemotherapy drugs may also cause dry mouth and hence more damage to the teeth. Other drugs that cause gum problems are oral contraceptives and syrups that contain sugar and hence damage teeth by development of caries. Cocaine is abused in a number of ways. One such way is, rubbing cocaine over the gums which erode the tissue. It is acidic and causes enamel dissolving. Methamphetamine causes severe tooth decay with this drug. A term called as ‘meth mouth’ is described for persons who suffer from this drug, also bruxism and jaw clenching are common with these illicit drugs.


Chronic Addiction to Marijuana may cause the chemicals in marijuana smoke and cause the teeth to rot quickly as they cause dry mouth and enhance the chances of developing cancer. One drug, heroin causes a craving for sweets which again causes tooth decay. For all the medications, treatment is available and . Substance Abuse Treatment in Florida may be necessary.


For pregnant women, tetracycline is not given at all. For decayed teeth, fillings need to be done. With other illicit drugs, the only effective treatment is to stop the habit. For gum enlargement problems that occur with some drugs, surgeries might be needed to cut excess gum tissue that has grown over the teeth.

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