Drug Class Could Prevent Meth Mouth

by Mike Miller March 28, 2012

Good dental hygiene is critical to the overall health of the human body. Don’t believe me? Google it!

As reported in the Post and Courier, The destruction of the oral cavity is just one of the many harmful and lethal effects of methamphetamine. One of the visual signs of a meth addict is the destruction of the teeth and gums.

The nasty-looking tooth decay known as "meth mouth" is a strain on recovering addicts and on the budgets of the of prisons and state governments across the country.

Meth use, combines with poor dietary habits and self-neglect contribute to patients' stained, rotten and crumbling teeth.

How does this happen? Research indicates meth abuse alters the level of acidity in patients' saliva, a factor that compounds their often severe dental problems.

Poor personal hygiene, teeth clenching and grinding and excessive cravings for sugary drinks accelerate decay among meth mouth patients.

Why is a lot of saliva important? Because saliva can wash away harmful bacteria that causes decay. Lack of saliva means bacteria remain on the teeth. And saliva that is too acidic fails to adequately "buffer" or protect teeth from decay.

A pair of studies have shown that meth addicts had less saliva than the non-addicts. The drug users' saliva was more acidic and their ability to neutralize acid in the mouth "was significantly less" than the control group.

If continued studies reveal similar results the net effect could be great as health providers eventually could incorporate them into treatment plans by prescribing medications that make saliva less acidic. Doing so could make standard reconstructive treatments, such as bridges and crowns, less likely to fail.

Meth is a horrible, horrible drug. As a recovering drug addict who suffers addictions to a variety of drugs, I can attest that this one is one of the worst. If you or someone you care about has a meth problem, please seek help ASAP. If you prefer to maintain anonymity, there are online drug classes too.

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