Meth mouth

Meth mouth
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The mouth of a person with symptoms similar to those caused by long-term use of methamphetamine

Meth Mouth is severe tooth decay and tooth loss, as well as tooth fracture, acid erosion, and other oral problems, potentially symptomatic of extended use of the drug methamphetamine. The condition is thought to be caused by a combination of side effects of the drug (clenching and grinding of teeth, dry mouth) and lifestyle factors (infrequent oral hygiene, frequent consumption of sugary drinks, as well as neglecting regular dental cleanings and preventive care), which may be present in long-term users. However, the legitimacy of meth mouth as a unique condition has been questioned because of the similar effects of some other drugs on teeth. Images of diseased mouths are often used in anti-drug campaigns.

The condition is difficult to treat, and may involve fillings, fluoride to fight tooth decay and drugs that increase saliva for dry mouth, as well as oral hygiene instruction. It can be dangerous for active methamphetamine users to undergo dental surgery because of the cardiac problems that can result from the interaction of local anesthetic with the drug.