Cocaine on gums, and how it impacts your oral health
Regular use of cocaine leads to painful perforation of the nasal septum and palate of the mouth, painful lesions in the gums and other soft tissue of the mouth, and erosion of tooth enamel. Patients with perforations suffer from speech impairment and find it difficult to eat and drink.
Medications used to ease the side effects of cocaine withdrawal can cause xerostomia (severe dry mouth). Without sufficient protective saliva, the risk of tooth decay increases. Because cocaine addicts typically neglect their oral hygiene, do not seek dental treatment while using, and rub cocaine on gums / gum tissue, where contact with teeth erodes dental enamel, the incidence of severe dental caries is high. Tooth loss is high, and tooth extraction is often needed.
Dr. Alexander and the specialists he works with know that the vasoconstrictor in local anesthesia after recent use of cocaine (within 24 hours) can induce an acute increase in blood pressure. During tooth extraction, this has been known to be fatal. Because of the potential medical risks during dental treatment, Dr. Alexander will make sure you have not been using cocaine. He will be alert for signs of recent or chronic use that can put your life at risk.
Since many individuals will deny the use of cocaine, Dr. Alexander only accepts patients who are part of a recovery program and meet with him for open conversation prior to a comprehensive examination and carefully planned treatment.
If you have been in recovery for some time and been successful in achieving complete abstinence for a year, perforations can be repaired by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Gingival lesions can be treated by a periodontal specialist.
If you are part of a recovery program near Boynton Beach, you have a unique opportunity to be in the care of Dr. Jamie Alexander, a general and restorative dentist who has expertise in helping individuals in recovery. He can evaluate your overall needs, collaborate with local preferred specialists, and provide dental restorative treatment (fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures, and perhaps, implant treatment). The counsel of this “recovery dentist” can save and transform your life.
As a recovering user of cocaine, you have unique needs and circumstances. Your oral health situation may be quite complex. But, have hope. Schedule an initial, complementary consultation with Dr. Jamie Alexander to talk about your circumstances and seek a new beginning that includes a healthy mouth, restored speech, and nice smile.
Call 561-732-8877 for a compassionate conversation with our receptionist to schedule your initial consultation.