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Coke Jaw - Recognize The Cause and What To Do


Despite hundreds of studies showing the negative effects of cocaine use, it remains one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. While users may associate cocaine with euphoria and increased energy, it is also associated with panic attacks, poor blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract, and disruptions of the natural reward pathways in the brain. [1] However, these are not the only negative effects of cocaine use. One of the most common side effects of abusing cocaine is also one of the lesser-known symptoms of cocaine addiction. It is called coke jaw.

So, what is the meaning of coke jaw? How long does coke jaw last? How does the condition differ from coke mouth? Finally, can coke jaw cause long-term damage?

In this guide, we will answer all of these questions and more. Additionally, if you or someone you love needs help with an addiction to cocaine, we can direct you to a treatment program with our team at Prosperity Haven.

What Is Coke Jaw?

Coke jaw is the common name for random and spastic movements of the muscles in the lower face and neck. This movement is most pronounced in the jaw, which is where the name of the condition comes from. Since cocaine is a stimulant that accelerates activities of the central nervous system, it can lead to fast and often uncontrollable movements, such as rapid blinking, twitching in the extremities, foot tapping, and tight clenching of the teeth.

While coke jaw is associated with random movements of the jaw, it often manifests itself in two ways. Someone who is using cocaine or coming down from a cocaine high will either clench their jaw muscles or shift their jaw from side to side. These movements puts additional pressure on the teeth, to the point that the enamel can become thin or cracked.

Coke jaw is a side effect that can occur with any kind of intake method, including snorting, injecting, and smoking cocaine. While some people believe that coke jaw is made worse if cocaine is rubbed directly on the teeth or gums, there is no evidence indicating that this has any substantial effect on the condition.

What Causes Coke Jaw?

Coke jaw is one of many natural side effects of using cocaine. As previously mentioned, cocaine causes many processes in the body to speed up. Users often report feeling extremely energetic when using cocaine. This nervous energy is often combined with anxiety, which is one of the primary causes of coke jaw. These factors frequently result in hyperactive movements throughout the body, particularly if the user is otherwise at rest.

For example, if someone uses cocaine and remains seated, their body will try to find ways to burn off the excess energy. Rapid and seemingly uncontrollable movements of the jaw are just one of these manifestations. And while these movements may not seem bad when compared to other effects of cocaine use, coke jaw can actually lead to various problems and complications in the mouth.

How Long Does Coke Jaw Last?

Coke jaw typically lasts for the duration of a cocaine high, which can be anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour. That said, the post-high comedown can cause anxiety and withdrawal symptoms, which could retrigger random jaw movements. If someone uses cocaine regularly, they can expect coke jaw to persist for as long as they are using the drug.

What Coke Jaw Looks Like

Common coke jaw examples used for comparison include someone who is suffering from anxiety or a panic attack. Even if the person appears happy or otherwise content, they will be clenching their teeth or moving their jaw from side to side as if they are bursting with energy or pent-up stress. Over time, coke jaw can result in cocaine face or coke mouth, which constitute the unflattering and even harmful physical effects of prolonged cocaine abuse.

Effects Of Coke Jaw

The erratic movements associated with coke jaw can have various effects on the health of your jaw and mouth. Here are some of the most common effects:

  • Jaw Pain – The most common effect of coke jaw is prolonged pain in the jawbone and surrounding muscles. This pain is usually not felt until after the drug has worn off. Consequently, someone who is binging cocaine may be experiencing coke jaw for hours at a time without feeling the real damage they’re doing to their jaw until later.
  • TMD – TMD is short for Temporomandibular Disorders, a wide range of conditions related to the joints of the jaw. Though there are many different conditions within TMD, some of the most common symptoms brought on by coke jaw include clicking sensations, limited movement, pain, and tenderness in the jaw. Many people also experience severe headaches.
  • Coke Mouth – Coke Mouth is a term for all of the mouth-related symptoms of prolonged cocaine abuse, including coke jaw. However, coke mouth can also include perforation of the oral palate, dry mouth, and dental erosion. Therefore, coke moth and coke jaw are closely related, though coke mouth is a broader term for symptoms that are often partially brought on by coke jaw.
  • Periodontitis – Periodontitis is an infection of the gums that can cause receding gums and tooth loss. This disease can be brought on by irritation caused by rubbing cocaine on the gums and exacerbated by coke jaw.
  • Teeth Grinding – Coke jaw causes coke users to grind their teeth (bruxism), which can contribute to further damage to tooth enamel, gums, and the jaw. Teeth grinding also increases the frequency and severity of cavities, cracked teeth, and gum disease.

It’s important to note that these are just some of the most common effects of coke jaw. Generally speaking, cocaine addiction and coke jaw contribute to a deterioration in oral hygiene, which can lead to many other health problems. Poor mouth care can also make conditions like coke mouth and periodontitis even worse. If a cocaine addiction is left untreated, the long-term effects of coke jaw could be devastating. In severe cases, a cocaine abuser may lose the ability to open their mouth, speak, eat, or swallow.

How To Stop Coke Jaw

There are various coke jaw remedies promoted online, but they are not effective or verified by scientific studies. If you or someone you love is using cocaine, there is no way to stop coke jaw without stopping the underlying cause. Though some people experience uncontrollable jaw movements unrelated to cocaine use, the only way to specifically stop or prevent coke jaw is to stop using cocaine. For people who are already addicted to the drug, this is much easier said than done.

Cocaine is one of the most addictive illicit street drugs, which can make the recovery process for cocaine addicts much harder. Fortunately, there is still hope. The team at Prosperity Haven is trained to provide a warm, welcoming environment in which to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally. We combine our one-on-one counseling with various group-based and natural therapies, helping you achieve sobriety and overcome your addiction. So, if you want to stop coke jaw and cocaine addiction as soon as possible, we can help.

Is someone you know showing signs of cocaine addiction? Do you believe that treatment for cocaine addiction is the best solution to reach recovery? If so, feel free to contact the experts at Prosperity Haven to learn more about drug rehab for cocaine addiction.


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