It is widely known that drug use, including tobacco use, can cause tooth decay. The worst drug offender in ruining teeth, however, is methamphetamine.
Meth is known as a powerfully addictive drug that can harm overall health, but it can also seriously affect oral health. Meth use can destroy a person’s smile and their ability to chew, according to the American Dental Association.
A 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 12 million Americans had tried methamphetamines in a variety of forms. Meth use, however, is on the rise, especially in people between the ages of 18 to 34 years old.
Meth use causes permanent brain damage and also causes the salivary glands to stop producing saliva. This dries out the mouth and allows the acid in the mouth to run rampant, destroying teeth. The lack of saliva in the mouth allows for cavities to form, and these cavities will likely be left untreated, as meth becomes the sole purpose of the users life. As meth use continues, total tooth decay occurs.
Dentists can often times see the beginning signs of meth use in the oral health of teenagers. Teens who suddenly have teeth riddled with cavities, often is a red flag to dentists.
Drug use, especially meth use can destroy teeth as well as harming overall health. A dentist can see the signs and possibly recommend or call a treatment center to offer help.