When people have a discussion about addiction, they often talk about the ill effects that addiction has on the body. Substance abuse can harm your heart, lungs, kidneys and even cause your blood pressure to run too high or too low. When discussing addiction, people also address mental health concerns. However, no one really talks about addiction and dental health.
Addiction and Dental Health
It is easy to understand that when you are fighting an addiction, the last thing you are concerned with is your teeth’ condition. Sadly, many people suffer from this, and it adds to their overall poor health condition. Bad teeth can make it hard to eat properly, cause severe infections, and even lead to other medical conditions.
Damaged teeth can also lead to self-esteem problems which can, in turn, lead to more substance abuse. If you feel unsure about your appearance or are in pain because of your poor dental health, you may find yourself using more of your preferred substance to eliminate these feelings.
Recovery Helps You Address All Health Concerns
When you enter into an addiction recovery center for treatment, you will do more than detox your body from the addictive substance. While you are there, you are also going to address your overall health conditions. This will include dental health.
Part of drug rehabilitation is about reclaiming your health. Whether that be your mental health, emotional health, or physical health, it is about reclaiming your ability to take care of yourself to feel better and, therefore, live better when you are substance-free.
Your substance abuse counselor will work with you about your health conditions, including your dental health, to ensure that you are receiving the right medical care to make a full physical and mental recovery while you are rehabilitating from the addiction.
Repairing damage to your teeth is a very important part of drug rehab. When your teeth are in good condition, you can eat better, you eliminate pain and infection from your body, and you have a reason to feel self-confident again when you smile. That self-confidence is crucial to your success in recovery because when you feel good about yourself, you are less likely to relapse into addiction.
Good Health Is About Total Health
Of course, good health and addiction recovery are more than having good dental hygiene. Substance abuse rehabilitation is about addressing all areas of your life that may have led to or are a contributing factor to your addiction and how you can make the necessary changes to overcome these problems.
When you are in rehab, your counselors and care providers are going to work with you on all levels of self-care and help you address your needs. This includes things like having a mental health assessment as well as a physical assessment. Addressing underlying issues such as anxiety or depression can help you overcome the mental need for the substance as well as create a pathway for you to overcome those problems as well as the addiction.
It is more common for a person to have a dual diagnosis – addiction and a mental health issue- than it is just to have a diagnosis of addiction alone. Substance abuse can be a direct result of a mental condition, or substance abuse can lead to the condition. When you are managing anxiety, depression, fear, or other emotional factors that may be disrupting your life, it is easier to address other issues such as physical health.
Recovery Is Beneficial In So Many Ways
Entering into rehabilitation is never easy, but the outcome is amazing. When you are in recovery, your entire life changes. You are no longer being controlled by your addiction. You are now in control of your life, and you are enjoying a clearer mental outlook on life as well as much better health.
When you start to truly enjoy the benefits of recovery, you will look back at the time when you first entered into a substance recovery program and know that the program was worth all of your hard efforts. Being in control of your life and your health is an amazing feeling. The great news is that this great feeling never goes away.