Meth Mouth

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Suspected case of meth mouth

Meth mouth” is an informal name for advanced tooth decay attributed to heavy methamphetamine use.[1] According to the American Dental Association, meth mouth “is probably caused by a combination of drug-induced psychological and physiological changes resulting in xerostomia (dry mouth), extended periods of poor oral hygiene, increased consumption of sugared soft drinks, and teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism).”[2][3]

“Meth mouth” characteristics include:

  • Bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding): Methamphetamine induces bruxism, leading to the wear and cracks of tooth enamel.
  • Oral hygiene neglect: Methamphetamine users often neglect oral hygiene.
  • Hyposalivation (dry mouth): A lack of saliva’s natural protective effects directly leads to increased tooth decay, particularly at the gum line.

Some have contended that “meth mouth” is not due to methamphetamine being acidic or corrosive[4] but the Pennsylvania Dental Association maintains that “the acidic ingredients of methamphetamine can damage teeth.”[5]. Meth mouth has been observed in people who abuse pharmaceutical grade methamphetamine as well. It is most likely due to common characteristics of heavy methamphetamine use.[6]

Despite the name “meth mouth”, similarly accelerated tooth decay can be caused by the abuse of other stimulants with similar actions, such as amphetamines, cocaine and methylphenidate.

Dr. Sebastian
18700 Main St., Suite 206
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92648

About Dr. Sebastian

Doctor Sebastian Gonzales is a native Californian, born and raised in Orange County. Dr. Sebastian has been providing cosmetic dentistry for over 25 years in his Huntington Beach dentist Office. His undergraduate studies were completed at California State University of Long Beach. There, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 1978. He attended the University of California School of Dentistry of San Francisco where he received his doctorate in Dental Surgery in 1982. Dr. Sebastian believes in hard work, commitment and honesty. His philosophy with his patients is clear and emphasizes the integrity of his work as both a cosmetic dentist and a general dentist.