Drug abuse and gingivitis

Drug abuse and gingivitis is related somehow and drug abuser tend to have much more incidence of having dental problems and periodontal disease primarily due to neglect. Surprisingly diseases of oral cavity like allergic thrombocytopenia  is on the rise caused by the quinine in adulterated heroin. . Patients who chronically drink coffee or tea may have an increase in dental stains, resulting in an increase in formation of plaque and calculus, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Introduction and Symptoms

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that can later affect other connecting areas around the teeth like tissues, ligaments, and sockets that hold teeth in place. Its most notable symptoms are the swelling/inflammation of gums, bleeding, change in gum-colour to deep-red, sensitive gums, and wounds in the affected area.

Risk factors or causes

Plaque, which is a mixture of the naturally-occurring bacteria in the mouth with starchy food particles, is the prevailing cause of gingivitis. After about two days, unremoved plaque hardens into tartar which irritates the gum-line. Chances that these problems will develop are higher in people that smoke, have immune-deficiency diseases like HIV/AIDS, the elderly, and illicit drug abusers.

Treatments

A dental hygienist offers a few treatment options for gingivitis. Scaling/polishing: in this procedure, plaque and tartar are scraped from the teeth by use of professional tools. The teeth are then polished to eradicate any marks and stains. Root planning: this procedure involves a deep, thorough cleansing underneath the gums. It removes the normally unreachable  bacteria and smoothens the roots of teeth. Tooth removal: extreme cases of gingivitis may call for the removal of any tooth that is affected. This is a last resort, and only necessary if nothing else can be done to save a particular tooth.

Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), which is a rare form, is treated by a professional using prescription antibiotics or specialized mouthwash. Antibiotics like Amoxicillin are for fighting infections in the gums. Take note of the stated side-effects if you have any current medical condition. Your dentist may also prescribe a special mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine. Some of these can be used directly to rinse the mouth and gums, while others must first be diluted with water.

Painkillers  like Ibuprofen , or any medicated anaesthetics, can be used to alleviate any pain in the gums and teeth while actual treatment of gingivitis is being carried out. 

Self care

Good oral care and hygiene is the most effective way to not only prevent but also reverse initial stages of gingivitis. Using fluoride toothpaste to brush two times daily (or after every meal if possible), is the beginning of personal responsibility. Flossing regularly helps remove food particles and bacteria from between teeth, where a toothbrush can hardly reach. If you’re a smoker, quitting will go a very long way in combating gingivitis, since tobacco smoke wears away the gums and cause infections. Also, it is a good practice to rinse the mouth twice a day with an antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash, as this kills a huge amount of bacteria on the gums and teeth. Your diet also plays an important role. It is helpful to increase the consumption of vitamins like B12 and calcium, because they not only strengthen bones and teeth, but also strengthen gums and increase their resistance to bacteria.

Drugs used in treating

Drugs used in treating gingivitis can be grouped into antibiotics, oral rinse, and painkillers. Antibiotics (e.g. penicillin, erythromycin, and clindamycin) are only necessary for Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG). Oral rinses include chlorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide, while the most common painkillers are ibuprofen, codeine, and topical anaesthetics like Lidocaine.