The Difficult Effects of Methamphetamines on Oral Health

Methamphetamines on Oral Health

The Hard Truth about Methamphetamines and Oral Health

We can hardly go a single day without hearing about the increasing rise of drug addiction in our country, or worse, hearing the heartbreaking story of a loved one coping with addiction.

Drug addiction profoundly affects families, communities, and, of course, the individuals themselves. As dental professionals, we are trained to identify the oral signs of drug abuse. Having this difficult but crucial conversation is essential.

This office prioritizes our patients’ best interests and overall health. If you know someone struggling with addiction, please share the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline with them.

Oral Health effects of Methamphetamine (Meth) abuse

Today, we will focus on the specific oral health effects of Methamphetamine (Meth) abuse. A 2008 study by the United Nations reported that approximately 25 million individuals around the world use methamphetamine.

However, between 2008 and 2014, the number of methamphetamine users more than doubled.

In 2014, an estimated 52 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 worldwide used amphetamine-type stimulants for nonmedical purposes.

Amphetamine-type stimulants are estimated to have been used by as many as 52 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 worldwide in 2014, making it the second most widely abused recreational drug after cannabis.

Eleven Eleven Dental Office in Port Angeles, WA

Rampant and Excessive Tooth Decay

Most individuals who abuse Meth for extended periods often exhibit rampant and excessive tooth decay known as “Meth Mouth.”

Dry mouth (xerostomia) and poor oral hygiene over prolonged periods commonly cause decay. Meth itself, being highly acidic, lowers the pH of the oral cavity.

Dry mouth poses a significant risk factor for cavities in any population. Failure to address dry mouth promptly can lead to rapid decay progression. When a patient in recovery is prepared to restore their teeth, several steps can be taken to initiate the process.

Essential first steps include incorporating a high-concentration sodium fluoride source. This fluoride treatment aims to prevent the onset of new decay while addressing existing cavities.

Untreated Xerostomia

Many people recovering from Methamphetamine addiction may not have the financial readiness to fully restore their teeth like new. In this case, consider using Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) as the best alternative.

Dentists apply SDF topically and authorize its use as a desensitizing agent.

Another benefit of SDF is its ability to capture and halt dental caries. We can create a short-term plan to manage rampant and spreading tooth decay while also using ordinary sodium fluoride.

a-doctor-showing-Invisalign-teeth-a-our-patient in Port Angeles

Your dentist and hygienist will create an individualized plan tailored to your personal needs and desires. Restoring your oral health may appear to be a lengthy journey, but we will accompany you every step of the way.

Lifestyle Habits and Tooth Decay

We should also consider our lifestyle habits that may contribute to the advancement of tooth decay. Many individuals who abuse recreational drugs commonly use tobacco.

If you are facing this issue as well, we can provide you with resources for recovery. Additionally, we will explore how your diet affects your oral health, as diets high in sugar can speed up the formation of cavities.

There is no universal solution here, and we will assist you in addressing any modifiable risk factors to decrease your risk of future cavities.

Dentists at Eleven Eleven Dental, Port Angeles, WA

We Offer No Judgments

We understand that rampant decay can make many people feel embarrassed or hopeless about their teeth, but we are always here to help. We do not judge and aim to provide you with the best possible oral health care.

If you or someone you know is ready to restore their smile and embark on the road to recovery, we would love to assist. As mentioned before, please share the National Hotline with anyone you believe could benefit from it.

Eleven Eleven Dental Logo

At Eleven Eleven Dental, we believe your comfort should always come first. You will feel our warmth and compassion as soon as you walk through our doors.

Leave a Comment