Note: Graphic photo at the end of this blog.
Does anyone else watch ‘Intervention’ on A&E?
I decided to do a little research on Methamphetamine and its effect on the mouth. In just one year a meth addict can go from a beautiful smile to missing and decayed teeth.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug. The devastating effects it has on the mouth is caused by a combination of factors. Dry mouth (resulting in poor gum health and cavities), poor dental hygiene and the fact that meth itself is acidic, all contribute to ‘Meth Mouth’. When a user is high, there are often cravings for sugary carbonated drinks that will destroy teeth over time, especially when oral hygiene is not good.
“Meth Mouth” involves rampant tooth decay, dry mouth, cracked teeth and gum disease in a short period of time. Teeth and gums need blood in order to stay healthy but meth causes the vessels that supply blood to oral tissues to shrink. This is why meth can be so destructive to the mouth.
The first stage of meth mouth is bad breath, cavities and red, swollen gums. The front teeth are usually the first to decay.
In the second stage of deterioration, sores appear on the lips, gum tissue starts to recede and the decay gets worse.
In the final stage of meth mouth, teeth rot down to the gum line and teeth start to fall out. Meth users may severely grind and clench their teeth and this also damages the teeth.
Methamphetamine blocks or lessens pain so users don’t usually experience dental pain that would be expected of such extensive damage and destruction.
Methamphetamine use is prevalent here in Timmins. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, there is help. Call the Jubliee Center 705-268-2666.