The majority of people with substance dependence issues say they have poor oral health, according to a study from Boston University. Opioid use in particular was significantly related to dental problems.
The researchers studied the effects of alcohol, stimulants, opioids and marijuana on oral health among 563 people who were substance-dependent. They were asked to rate their oral health on a five-point scale ranging from poor to excellent.
In the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, the researchers report that 60 percent of people in the study reported fair or poor oral health. Opioid use was significantly related to a worse overall oral health rating compared with the previous year. Researcher Meredith D’Amore, MPH, said the results indicate that providers should be aware of potential oral health issues in people with substance dependence.