If you don’t know how bad methamphetamine truly is, here is a glimpse. Heart and possible brain damage, addiction, loss of motivation, lack of interest in daily activities, as well as serious dental problems. The teeth can suffer terrible decay, which is known as “meth mouth” among the dental community. In as little as one year, meth can cause so much decay, the user may end up dealing with tooth loss.
Most people assume there is some negative component in the drug itself that destroys teeth. But, it’s more about how the drug affects the body which in turn negatively impacts the teeth. Since a meth addict is likely dehydrated through the use of meth, saliva production is cut down by the salivary glands. The mouth is much dryer than normal, so the user reaches for beverages that are typically highly acidic and sugary. This combination wreaks havoc on the teeth. Plaque adheres to the teeth due to the dryness which makes the individual more susceptible to decay. Also, meth users will allow days, sometimes weeks to go by without brushing or flossing. So when the cycle continues, and more sugary drinks and sweets are craved, decay increases.
Meth is so harmful to the teeth that often times they simply need to be removed altogether. They are so weak and crumbly, also due to the negative grinding side effect that occurs from meth. Breakage or cracking is common from the grinding.
Typical dental treatments required by meth users range from filling replacements and porcelain crowns, to dental bridges and dental implants to replace missing teeth. If money is an issue and too many teeth need replaced, dentures are also a possibility.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.