Effects Of Meth Use To Your Oral Health

Some call it "speed", others call it "chalk", "ice" or simply "meth", but whichever fancy name you decide to christen it, there is absolutely nothing to smile about when it comes to methamphetamine. This is an addictive stimulant that has brought about some very ugly repercussions to those who indulge in it. The white, odorless and bitter-tasting drug is quite versatile as it can be consumed in various ways, including smoking, shooting and snorting. The following are problems associated with this drug.

Oral Problems Associated with Meth Use

There are a number of oral health problems that are associated with the heavy use of methamphetamine which include:

  • Dry Mouth

If you thought that the only useful thing that saliva does is to assist in sealing envelopes, you should know better. Saliva helps to rinse the mouth and washing away spare food particles and bacteria that trigger oral problems such as cavities and gum disease. If you are wondering what meth has got to do with saliva, you should know that this substance slows down the natural production of saliva, causing dry mouth.

  • Gum Disease

When the mouth becomes constantly dry due to heavy use of meth, then gum disease is likely to plague you sooner or later. Lack of moisture in the mouth accelerates bacteria build-up which leads to an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gum disease can develop into a more painful and worrisome oral condition.

  • Tooth Decay

Lack of saliva in the mouth will also encourage food particles to find a haven on your teeth surfaces. This triggers tooth decay, which can lead to teeth loss if not addressed as soon as possible.

  • Bad Breath

Meth may be an odorless substance, but the fact that it causes dry mouth is reason enough for you to have a bad breath.

  • Cracked Tooth Enamel

This is caused by a condition known as bruxism, which is characterized by clenching and grinding of teeth. Unlike non-users, meth users are known to clench and grind their teeth. This condition leads to a cracked and worn down tooth enamel.

If you are a meth addict, it would be best that you seek treatment that will help you get off the substance. If the effects of the drug have already affected your mouth, cosmetic dentistry would be a good option. It will not only enable you to improve your smile, but it will also help you hide the negative side effects of your past indiscretions. Talk to a dentist like Marc E. Segal, D.D.S. on the various affordable dental plans that are available for you.