Methamphetamine is a highly addictive illegal drug. It is however highly accessible on the street. Along with the threat to your general good health methamphetamine is known for creating a condition called “meth mouth,” which involves pervasive tooth decay and loss.
Methamphetamine goes by many nicknames such as meth, crystal and pony, but whatever you choose to call it it’s trouble for the user. The acids in methamphetamine are corrosive to teeth and gum tissue. It also causes dry mouth that adds to the user’s craving for sugary drinks which are known promoters of tooth decay.
The damage from methamphetamine seems to target the front teeth in particular. It starts with discoloration that quickly advances as the teeth rot away. They will eventually turn black before they fall out.
Symptoms include discolor, breakage and loss of teeth. Users are prone to bruxism which can lead to jaw disorders.
If you suspect that your son or daughter is using methamphetamine alert your dentist before the next scheduled visit. He may be able to identify the signs of use by looking for cracks in the teeth or the beginnings of tooth decay.
Treatment will depend on how much damage has been done. Your dentist may want to apply a sealant to the teeth that have not yet been affected. More advanced cases may call for root canal treatments or extraction. A mouthguard may help prevent bruxism.