Effects of Methamphetamine on Oral Health

November 20, 2020 , Agape Treatment Center

Effects of Methamphetamine on Oral Health

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an illegal controlled stimulant, one that is known to cause a wide range of serious symptoms including rapid heartbeat, delirium, psychosis, panic attacks, and heart failure. Any individual who uses methamphetamine is liable to experience a wide range of serious and lasting health-related issues. This specific chemical substance is widely known as one of the most addictive substances available, and even those who engage in one-time use have reported developing a physical and psychological dependency.

Methamphetamine can be ingested in a variety of ways, including smoking, swallowing, snorting, or injecting intravenously. The reason why this drug is so highly habit-forming is that the high that is produced generally begins to fade away in 20 or 30 minutes, leading to repetitive use in a short period.

Methamphetamine Abuse and Addiction

Methamphetamine abuse and addiction result in a range of short and long-term effects. Some of the more common short-term effects of methamphetamine use include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • A sharp increase in blood pressure
  • An increase in body temperature
  • Rapid breathing and hyperventilation
  • Increased energy levels
  • An increase in sociability and physical activity
  • Decreased appetite

Some of the more common long-term effects of methamphetamine abuse include:

  • Significant and sometimes dangerous weight loss
  • Skin-related issues, such as intense itching which can lead to open wounds and sores
  • Permanent changes in brain structure
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia
  • Violent outbursts
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss and lasting confusion
  • Insomnia and other sleep-related issues
  • Severe dental problems also are known as “meth mouth”

Negative Effects of Meth Abuse on Oral Health

Chronic methamphetamine abuse destroys oral health. According to the American Dental Association, “meth mouth” is characterized by gum disease and tooth decay, which can cause rotten teeth to completely fall out. The Association carefully examined the teeth of 571 chronic methamphetamine users. The study revealed several alarming statistics, including:

  • 31% of the examined methamphetamine users had over six missing teeth
  • 58% of methamphetamine users suffered from untreated tooth decay
  • 56% of all examined methamphetamine users had at least one cavity, however, most had several

It was also found that there is a direct correlation between the amount of meth used on a daily or daily basis and the severity of tooth decay. Those who used greater amounts of this illegal chemical substance suffered more rotting, stained, blackened, and crumbling teeth than those who used methamphetamine less frequently. A combination of factors leads to the compromised oral hygiene of methamphetamine users, including psychological changes, physiological changes, poor oral hygiene in general, and the acidic nature of the drug itself. Of course, restoring oral hygiene and repairing a mouthful of broken and decaying teeth is certainly no small task.

However, this does not mean that it is impossible. Many individuals who have suffered from mild to moderate “meth mouth” and who have maintained sobriety for an extended period have gone on to receive intensive dental care, ultimately restoring the quality of their teeth with veneers, crowns, and other methods of intervention.

Meth Rehab at Agape Treatment Center

Agape Treatment Center offers a highly integrated level of clinical care, dedicated to helping men of women of all ages who have been suffering at the hands of a methamphetamine abuse disorder of any severity. While many of the long-term side effects of chronic methamphetamine abuse are permanent, certain issues like “meth mouth” can be improved over time. Of course, issues like this can only be improved upon if the individual maintains sobriety for an extended period.

To learn more about the risks involved in methamphetamine abuse, or to learn more about our comprehensive program of drug addiction recovery, please feel free to reach out to us at any point in time. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you get started on your journey of addiction recovery as quickly as possible.