While not immediately life threatening, a perforated palate can lead to many different problems between the two cavities, one of which is simply drinking liquid. Because it can now travel through the opening, some cocaine abusers experience liquid pouring out of their nose.
Even if the drug abuse is stopped, the palate will not regrow and patients require surgery to close the opening. Food and other bacteria, as well as mucus and phlegm, can pass through the hole and cause discomfort and other medical problems in both cavities. Medical attention should be sought as soon as it is noticed.
For Dr. Farran, he likely shares this photo in the hopes that people with similar problems will come forward before it becomes as big of an issue as this specific patient. Their cavities are basically just rotting away, and may be past the point of repair.