How Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Teeth

How Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Teeth

Lifestyle habits can take a serious toll on your smile. What you eat, drink, and do in your spare time could be helping or harming your teeth and gums. Taking steps to protect your smile now can help ensure you get a clean bill of dental health at your next dental appointment.

Smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking recreational drugs are common habits, but they can increase your risk of stained teeth, bad breath, dry mouth, hypersensitivity, tooth decay, cracked teeth, broken teeth, and tooth loss. These habits can also significantly increase your risk of oral cancer. You can reduce these risks by quitting smoking or using drugs, and by cutting back on the amount of alcohol you drink.

Good dental habits can help offset some of the damage. Eat a balanced diet with nutrient-dense foods to nourish your teeth and gums, and avoid starchy or sugary foods and drinks. Drink tap water rather than sugar-sweetened drinks, and when you take sweet medicine or drug replacement therapies such as methadone, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. When you have a craving, try chewing sugar-free gum. This helps stimulate saliva flow while combating oral bacteria.

Vomiting can occur when kicking a drug habit, which can further damage weakened teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after vomiting, and then use your finger rather than a toothbrush to rub fluoride toothpaste on your teeth. Use a fluoride mouthwash for further strength. If you notice any oral sores or spots that do not heal, contact us for further evaluation.

Call us today to learn more or to schedule a dental exam with our team.