You’ve likely heard of methamphetamines before; more commonly shortened to “meth,” this drug is extremely addictive. It releases high levels of dopamine & serotonin, along with other functions that affect the body and brain.
Symptoms of Meth Use
Meth can impact the nervous system and cause a variety of other dangerous & irritating symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea & vomiting
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Tremors and convulsions
- Brain damage
- Tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common side effects of using methamphetamines — so common, in fact, that there is now a slang term to describe how the drug can change the mouth’s overall appearance and function: meth mouth.
What’s Meth Mouth?
Meth use has always been known to have a strong connection to dental diseases. People commonly experience tooth decay after abusing methamphetamines, which can cause health problems and physical issues. The term “meth mouth” usually describes teeth that have experienced:
- Or breakage
While many individuals may know that using meth can cause oral imperfections, not as many people know how the symptom begins.
How Meth Damages Your Teeth
In addition to the above symptoms, meth use can cause some behaviors that could easily ruin your teeth:
Grinding – Known as Bruxism, meth use can cause a disease that occurs when people grind their teeth. When people are high off of meth, they ten to grind their teeth more heavily and frequently than normal.
Poor Dental Hygiene – Those who are high from doing meth probably don’t consider brushing their teeth as their top priority. Seeing as a high from meth can last about 12 hours, people who use the drug typically put brushing their teeth on the backburner.
Dry Mouth – The drug severely dries out the mouth, which will quickly cause teeth to rot
Poor Diet – Meth can also induce cravings to sugary food and drinks. These sugars, especially in soft drinks, can harm the teeth as well.
Fixing Meth Mouth
While there is no way to reverse what meth can do to your teeth, less serious cases can most likely be treated by a dental professional. However, some damage may be too severe for repair and may require the teeth to be pulled.
Ultimately, the only way to prevent meth mouth is to cure the addiction and abuse of methamphetamines.
How to Treat Methamphetamine Abuse
Meth addiction can be extremely harmful to both the body and the mind. The only way to truly cure it is to seek medical attention and get to the root of the problem. Some treatment methods may include counseling/therapy, educational services, medical detox, social support, and more.
If you think that someone you know may be using methamphetamines, tooth decay may be the first sign. After recognizing this sign, the next best step is to get informed and ask for help. Our team of professionals is happy to assist all individuals with addiction treatment, care, and inquiries. To learn about drug treatment services give us a call at 267.719.8689.