Methamphetamine and Your Oral Health
A few years ago, a National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 1.2 million American ages 12 and older had tried methamphetamine at least once throughout the year. It was also determined that 1.2 percent of eighth graders, 1.6% of tenth graders and 1.0% of twelfth graders were abusing methamphetamine.
What Is Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that has various street names including speed, meth, ice, chalk, fire, crank, glass, crystal, and Tina. It’s a crystal-like powder that is white, odorless, bitter tasting, and can be taken by users through a variety of different methods.
This addictive drug affects the nervous system, resulting in higher than normal levels of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain. This produces an intense euphoria, or rush, for the user.
Side-Effects of Meth Use
Abusing methamphetamine is potent to the central nervous system and can lead to various negative conditions including shortness of breath, nausea, irregular heartbeat, tremors, anxiety, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, mood disturbances, hallucinations, violent behavior, permanent brain damage, and devastated oral health.
Why Your Smile Hates Methamphetamine
Some chronic users can develop what is called “meth mouth,” referring to blackened, decayed teeth and severe gum disease. These oral issues can develop because:
- Meth dries the mouth, hindering the mouth’s ability to fight against tooth decay and gum disease.
- It has an acidic nature that can damage tooth enamel.
- Methamphetamine “highs” often cause the individual to crave high-calorie, sugary drinks.
- Users tend to grind and clench their teeth.
- Proper dental hygiene is often forgotten during extensive (12 hour) highs. The accumulated neglect manifests itself through cavities and prematurely worn teeth.
Take Action Now
The American Dental Association warns that you should be concerned if you notice friends or family members, especially teenagers and young adults, who have unaccounted for or accelerated tooth decay.
Kicking the methamphetamine habit is an important step to promote a healthy body, mind and smile. To help address any damage that a smile has developed, we provide compassionate, state-of-the-art services, including a full mouth rehabilitation, dental implants, teeth whitening, and porcelain veneers under the expertise hands of our caring dentist Dr. Dean Lodding and our wonderful dental team in Elgin.
Book your appointment with us today to get your smile-transformation started. Soon, you will be able to enjoy the endless benefits that a gorgeous, healthy looking smile can bring to you and your family.
What part of your smile are you most looking forward to boosting to the next level?