Co­caine abuse erodes palate

CityPress - - News - – Staff re­porter

Of all the scary sto­ries you have been told about the dan­gers of us­ing co­caine, this one is prob­a­bly the most fright­en­ing.

Den­tists in the UK have found that con­stant use of co­caine can lit­er­ally re­sult in a hole de­vel­op­ing in­side the mouth of an abuser.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­de­pen­dent news­pa­per, it is com­mon knowl­edge that abuse of co­caine of­ten leads to nasal per­fo­ra­tion – when the bit that sep­a­rates our nos­trils is eroded away – but it can have even more dire con­se­quences.

The palate, or the roof of the mouth, has a very frag­ile blood sup­ply, which can be shut off by abuse of co­caine.

When blood ves­sels in the palate con­strict, the den­tists found, the blood sup­ply to the up­per part of the in­side of the mouth is com­pro­mised, lead­ing to less oxy­gen be­ing de­liv­ered to tis­sue in the palate.

With lit­tle oxy­gen com­ing though, the palate lin­ing be­gins to die and shrink, leav­ing a per­fo­ra­tion (or hole in the palate), the pa­per re­ported.

One of the most se­ri­ous con­se­quences of this man­i­fests when drink­ing liq­uids. The per­fo­ra­tion in the mouth means the liq­uid be­ing con­sumed can­not travel past the palate as it should, but ends up com­ing out through the nose. Although this af­flic­tion is not life-threat­en­ing, it can be very em­bar­rass­ing for suf­fer­ers.

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