Affects of Methamphetamine on Your Teeth
Methamphetamine users are at increased risk for many problems, like heart disease, brain problems, as well as dental complications. You may have heard of the reference “meth mouth” which is basically very severe tooth decay. In as little as one year of meth use, an individual can suffer from tooth loss and severe decay.
Many think the drug itself causes teeth problems, but it is actually the dehydration that occurs in the drug user because it negatively impacts the salivary glands. There is a lack or even an absence of saliva so a meth user’s mouth is extremely dry. This coupled with the consumption of sugary or acidic good or beverages like soda are terrible for dental health. The more acidic one’s mouth is means that added plaque sticks to the teeth making them highly susceptible to tooth decay. Not to mention the fact that it is not uncommon for meth users to go several days without brushing their teeth. Then when they crash it is sugary foods and drinks that are craved.
With continued drug use, teeth become very week. Many will end up with so much damage to their teeth and gums that some teeth need to be removed. It is also a side affect of meth users that they may grind their teeth which makes them a higher risk for tooth fracture. The weakened enamel and grinding together means more damage to the overall dental health of a meth user.
Damage varies from one user to the next. Porcelain crowns can restore teeth that are still salvageable. Those teeth that cannot be saved may need to be replaced with a dental bridge or dental implants. In extreme cases where several teeth are extracted, dentures or partial dentures are a possibility.
You may be interested in learning more about how long dental implants last.