Meth Mouth (Methamphetamine)

What is Meth Mouth?

Meth mouth is the term used to describe the mouth of a frequent methamphetamine user. Users of this drug often neglect their oral hygiene making their mouth prone for tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, meth mouth is caused by the physiological and psychological effects of methamphetamine. Thus, a person with meth mouth feels dryness of their mouth, taking above average soft drinks, clenching of their teeth and bruxism or grinding of the teeth.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a kind of stimulant that affects the central nervous system. This drug is used to treat problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity. Its adverse effects would make a person increase their concentration, increased alertness and energy. But this drug is highly addictive and abusive. Using high dosage can lead to euphoria, increase self-esteem and even libido. Today, most people would also call methamphetamine like “ice” “meth” or “crystal meth”.

Action of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine acts directly on the central nervous system. it stimulates the neurochemical mechanism which helps regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, appetite, mood, emotions, temperature and others. Its action the same as the effects of epinephrine wherein the heart rate is increased as well as blood pressure and other stimulating effects.

Methamphetamine Effects

The effects of methamphetamine are not solely on the physiological aspect but the psychological side too. physically, a person can lose appetite or become anorexic. Aside from that, restlessness or hyperactivity also occurs. Users may also experience dry mouth or the meth mouth, increased heart rate, hypertension, frequent sweating or diaphoresis and even diarrhea.

Psychologically, meth users can also experience increase in libido or sex drives as well as euphoria or happiness. Other effects may include increased concentration, confidence, energy, self-esteem and aggression. Apart from that, meth addicts would feel agitated, they would also have episodes of hallucination and they feel that they have powers and that they are invincible. However, when withdrawing from methamphetamine use, a person will feel fatigue, depressed, excessive sleeping and sometimes suicidal ideation.

Mouth Meth Symptoms

When a person has mouth meth they will exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  • Broken teeth- broken teeth occur because the tooth becomes weak and decays are found in the gum line or in between the teeth. Also, broken teeth occur because of frequent bruxing or grinding of the teeth.
  • Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis- there is ulcer fund in the gingival area. this can be attributed because of stress and poor dental hygiene. The gums are inflamed and it is painful to touch and the person with ANUG can also have bad breath.
  • Attrition of the teeth- the enamel that protects the teeth wears off because of the frequent grinding of the teeth
  • Bad breath- a foul smelling breath is noticeable to a person with meth mouth and the smell can be worse because of ANUG and poor hygiene.
  • Pain- there will be pain felt because of the abscesses or the ulcers forming around the gum. The nerve would also be affected especially when tooth decay occurs. Aside from that, when mouth sore occurs, it is difficult to eat because pain is felt.
  • In some instances, a person with meth mouth will also have fever, body weakness or malaise and nausea. Headache and even neck aches and jaw pain are felt too.

Meth Mouth Pictures

meth mouth imagesPicture 1 : Meth mouth Picture

Photo source : doctorspiller.com

Picture 2 : Meth mouth Image

meth mouth pictures

Picture 3 : Meth mouth Photo

Photo source : mappsd.org

 

meth pictures

Picture 4 : Meth mouth dental caries

Photo source : entusa.com

 

meth mouth pictures before and after

Picture 5 : Meth mouth Pictures before and after

Photo source : nycdentist.com

Mouth Meth Health problems

A person addicted to methamphetamine can have mouth meth because of the primary reason that they don’t have proper dental hygiene. Aside from that, the increase intake of sweets from either foods or drinks has acids that add plaque that causes tooth decay. And because of that, no proper nutrition is taken by meth users causing their immune system to be weak their body is unable to fight off problems like gum diseases and ANUG.

But apart from that, mouth meth does not affect the mouth alone. There are also other problems that can be linked with mouth meth. One of that is the possible heart problem. Since methamphetamine stimulates an increase in heart rate, inflammation of the heart lining as well as hypertension can occur. The drug causes the blood vessels to be narrow causing vasoconstriction. This then increases the pressure on the walls of the blood vessels which can lead to increase in BP when taken.

Meth mite itching can also occur. The person may feel itchy but it comes from within. It seems like there is a bug inside the skin that causes them to itch. Lead poisoning, a harmful chemical can also happen since the drug contains lead. Aside from that, a person can have an increase risk of having HIV and when a pregnant woman uses meth, premature delivery can likely happen.

Meth Mouth Treatment

When desiring to be treated from meth mouth, the most important thing to do is to stop using the drug. People say that meth users should kick the habit out of their system. they should know the potential and harmful side effects of the drug. They can consult a doctor or enter into a rehabilitation program to stop using meth.

After kicking the habit out of their system, they can consult dentist for some tooth fillings. This is ideal when the decay or tooth damage is still minimal. but for moderate to severe cases, doctors can do root canal treatment or replace the damaged teeth with a new set.

It is also important to treat the ANUG or acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. Here, dentists will always require a proper dental hygiene and cleaning the mouth often. Aside from that, since meth mouth can cause dryness of the oral cavity, dentist may advice high fluid intake or chewing and swallowing the food properly to stimulate the secretion of saliva.

Meth Mouth Prevention

To avoid having meth mouth again, it is essential to stay away from using meth. Aside from that, practicing proper oral hygiene frequently should also be done to avoid tooth decay and ANUG. Eating or drinking sweets should be modified and it is best to avoid drinking alcohol nor smoking cigarette or tobacco to avoid dry mouth.

 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine

http://jada.ada.org/content/136/10/1491.full

 


Published by under Addictions and Poisoning.
Article was last reviewed on December 1st, 2015.

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