Methamphetamine Use and Oral Health
Posted on 4/10/2023 by Dr. Jae Seon Kim
|Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is a highly addictive stimulant drug. This drug can have devastating effects on a person's overall health, including dental health.
The Effects of Meth Use
The use of meth can lead to a condition known as "meth mouth," which is characterized by severe tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. This results from drug-induced changes in oral hygiene and oral health practices, leading to dry mouth and poor oral hygiene, which contribute to rapid tooth decay and gum disease.
In addition to physical damage, meth use can also alter the pH levels in the mouth and decrease saliva production, contributing to further dental problems. Meth can be abused through smoking, snorting, injecting, or swallowing in pill form. Meth users often consume high-calorie and sugary beverages, which can lead to further dental problems. Additionally, clenching, grinding, and other actions performed while under the influence of meth can cause further damage to the teeth.
The short-term side effects of meth abuse include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, decreased appetite, tremors, and breathing problems. Over time, it can also lead to violent behavior, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, confusion, hallucinations, and delusions.
To combat the effects of meth on dental health, it is crucial for those struggling with meth addiction to prioritize their oral hygiene. This may include regular dental check-ups, consistent brushing, and flossing, avoiding sugary and acidic foods, and staying hydrated. It is also important to seek professional help, such as behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, or inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs.
It is crucial for those struggling with meth addiction to seek help and prioritize their oral hygiene to overcome their addiction and restore their oral health. If you or someone you know is struggling with meth abuse, it is important to seek help immediately.