The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Drug abuse, currently a national epidemic affecting millions of Americans, causes numerous health issues including increased dental disease. There are several factors which can contribute to an increase in caries and missing teeth. One of the most discussed mechanisms is xerostomia. Drug abusers tend to have large sugar intakes which exacerbates the problems caused by xerostomia. Drug abusers are also at risk for oral infections associated with dental decay due to their altered saliva composition. Unfortunately, once the symptoms are present there is little that can be done to correct them and the goal of the treating dentist should be increased dental hygiene and ongoing prevention.