Cocaine tends to make people feel euphoric and full of energy, but because these pleasurable effects of the drug do not last for long, many users are tempted to take more of it. This not only leads to negative short-term effects but it could quickly lead to a physical dependence and subsequence cocaine addiction. Taking large amounts of cocaine can result in violent and erratic behaviour as well as feelings of panic and paranoia. Other side effects include increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, raised temperature, muscle tics, and tremors.
Cocaine addiction can also result in lasting health problems such as chronic fatigue, abdominal pain, weight loss, nosebleeds, stroke, respiratory failure, and heart attack. With all these health issues associated with long-term use of the drug, it is difficult for many to understand why anyone would abuse it. However, many individuals will become hooked on cocaine very quickly, and upon developing a cocaine addiction, they will find it almost impossible to quit, even if they want to.
The above should offer many reasons to stay away from cocaine before an addiction occurs, but new research has provided another – having a cannabis or cocaine addiction could lead to tooth decay and missing teeth.
The research has found that those who are addicted to drugs such as cocaine and cannabis had an average of 3.5 fewer teeth than those who did not use the drugs. Those who apply cocaine to their teeth and gums are risking a chemical deterioration of their teeth.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers in Australia, found that the teeth clenching and grinding that is common among those with a cocaine addiction can also lead to tooth decay. The team combined results of various dental studies from around the world to come to their conclusion. The 28 studies incorporated data from 4,086 patients with substance use disorders of a number of different drugs.
The results of their research were published in the Addiction journal, with researchers stating: “The use of drugs is increasing by approximately 3 million new users each year. While the global use of amphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy are estimated to have decreased in the past decade, the use of opioids and cannabis is continually rising. These problems should receive greater attention, and there are simple steps that both dental and non-dental personnel can take to improve this population’s oral health.”
Another issue highlighted by the team was the fact that those with cannabis or cocaine addiction were less likely to practice oral hygiene and visit their dentist. They found that drug users often had diets that were high in sugar and their lack of regular care from a dentist and sometimes malnutrition could lead to enhanced tooth decay.
The team believe that dentists should now be screening all patients for drug abuse. They said that any patient with a significant amount of tooth decay that is more than expected for their age should be referred to a doctor.
The British Dental Association said that the results of the study were not surprising, with a spokesperson adding, “Drug addiction often goes hand in hand with a chaotic lifestyle, poor nutrition and oral hygiene and generally seeing the dentist only when in pain. Unfortunately, their dental problems can be exacerbated by a craving for sweet foods and the reduction in saliva as a side effect of the drugs and medication.”
Although very difficult to treat, overcoming a cocaine addiction is possible with the right help and support. If your use of the drug is getting out of control, we urge you to get in touch with us here at Recovery.org.uk today.
We want you to know that beating a cocaine addiction is possible. We have helped many people to find a suitable treatment provider with experience of treating such an illness. We work with the NHS, charities, and private clinics to help those in need of addiction treatment access the programmes that will be most suited to their needs.
Our service is completely free and confidential. Rest assured that if you get in touch with us today, nobody will know this unless you decide to tell them. We will not share your details or anything you have discussed with us with anyone else without your permission.
If you are ready to get your life back on track, then please call us now. We understand that reaching out for help can be difficult, but we want you to know that we are here to help. Our staff are friendly and professional and will put you at ease immediately. Many of them have their own experiences with addiction so can offer first-hand advice and information on how you too could turn your life around. Please call today for more information on how we can help.
Source: How COCAINE could ruin your smile: Addicts have 4 fewer teeth because the drug erodes gums, study finds (Daily Mail)