Posted in Drug Abuse on November 2, 2017
Last modified on May 13th, 2019
What Does Meth Do to Your Teeth?
Chemical dependency is destructive in every instance, but few addictions ravage users as thoroughly and comprehensively as meth addiction.
Meth has become infamous for its horrifying impact on the human body, and one of its most distinctive long-term side effects is what is referred to as “meth mouth.” This catchall term describes the damage that frequent methamphetamine consumption can do to the teeth and gums.
Meth mouth is a hideous condition and a dead giveaway that makes meth abuse impossible to deny.
Meth Abuse and the Development of Meth Mouth
After just a few sessions of smoking meth, a user’s teeth will begin to stain a dark yellow. As a meth addiction develops, this discoloration will worsen, and eventually the protective enamel of the teeth will begin to flake or chip away. Once the enamel is gone, teeth are left vulnerable to acidic chemical traces in the clouds of meth smoke that users inhale, and it is these acidic traces that ultimately do most of the damage.
Soon, teeth that were previously stained yellow will begin to turn brown and black. Saliva gland function will be compromised by the presence of meth’s toxic byproducts, reducing their capacity to produce moisture that helps cleanse teeth and protect them from decay.
The development of meth mouth eventually reaches a point of no return. Corroded and desecrated beyond repair, the teeth will decay all the way to the gum line, leaving useless deformed stumps where there used to be healthy, normal white teeth. Gum disease is another result of meth addiction, and with gums no longer healthy enough to support teeth, some will break or fall out. Teeth, of course, don’t grow back, and they can’t be restored once meth mouth progresses too far.
Methamphetamine Addiction Is a Medical Emergency
As grotesque and awful as it is, meth mouth is not the worst side effect of meth addiction.
Methamphetamine is an insidious substance that strips users of their last shred of dignity, leaving them destitute and addicted and seemingly helpless to reverse their downward spiral. Once meth dependency develops, addicts have two choices: either get help for their problem or die.
This might sound hysterical or exaggerated, but it isn’t. The average life expectancy of a heavy meth user is just five to seven years, and unless something changes, their premature death is virtually assured.
Meth addiction is a hard foe to conquer, but residential treatment facilities can offer the intensive detox and multifaceted treatment plans meth addicts need before they can begin putting their lives back together. The tooth damage caused by meth use may be irreversible but the life damage is not. If someone you know is abusing methamphetamine, you should do everything in your power to convince them to ask for help today.
Oral Answers: Seven Ways Meth Ruins Your Teeth
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