Dental hygiene is not a typical topic that people talk about often. People associate abuse of meth with more severe side effects that make it a deadly disease. Though ignored, meth mouth should be more discussed to sensitize people on how risky smoking the drug is to their dental formula. Many people assume that it is not the drug that causes one to have bad teeth but the urge to take sweet things. Sugar is only a contributing factor that is not the cause of a weak dental formula.
The chemicals that are found in the drug both destroy body organs as well as affect your gums. Studies reveal that meth teen users are likely to suffer meth mouth faster than older users. Such analysis is because their gums are still not healthy enough to withstand the chemicals they expose themselves to when smoking ice. Meth withdrawal is an effective method to improve oral hygiene so that your teeth can stop decaying further.
Signs and symptoms of meth mouth
Meth withdrawal symptoms could come with hypersensitivity in your teeth. The sensation makes you uncomfortable as you keep on grinding the teeth which may lead to your jaw muscles aching as well as tooth wear. Science shows that sleep increases the feeling to gnash your teeth more than daytime.
Excessive use of meth makes your teeth break down quickly because of acids that are formed by bacteria in your mouth. You may start developing cavities that appear both black and yellow. Decaying teeth give you problems in chewing food due to the pain while chewing hard foods like beef. Apart from the loss of appetite, rotting teeth can prevent you from eating. The tissues around your mouth may inflame making it hard to swallow big chunks.
Developing meth mouth as a result of excessive use of the drug makes caries around your teeth surfaces to gradually split if you are not keen on your dental hygiene. The pain that comes with a fractured tooth can leave you sleepless for days, and the only option may be to take it off. Plucking remains a temporary solution to fix the problem.
Erosion is the most common symptom of meth mouth that teenagers experience. As young people abuse meth, their enamel becomes thin. Progressively, acid erosion affects your dentin changing the color of your teeth to a dull yellow look.
Chronic use of meth may limit how you open your jaws. It may be painful to open your mouth entirely while feeding due to the contraction of your jaw muscles. Speaking becomes challenging and in such a state, flossing your teeth may be challenging with aching jawing.
Smoking meth for long affects the composition of your saliva and reduces how much is produced. Your friends may encourage you to share pipes as you smoke meth. This method of administration makes you have a dry mouth even if you take lots of fluids.
Changing various medicines during treatment also leads to a dry mouth. Breathing through your mouth could also cause the dryness. Better oral hygiene would eradicate this condition. Ensure that you brush regularly paying more attention to areas between your teeth so that you eliminate the problem.
What are the causes of meth mouth?
Poor oral hygiene
Use of meth makes users forget about oral health. Lack of brushing teeth often causes harmful effects. It increases bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for the foul smell. Snorting meth and not brushing your teeth makes them prone to conditions such as decaying teeth.
Chemicals in the drug
Meth contains chemicals that are corrosive. Cases of cars exploding as users tried to make meth have been reported. Such reports should tell you that as you inject or smoke ice, you are exposing your teeth to the same chemicals. Some include anhydrous ammonia, phosphorus, and lithium that is found in batteries. Excessive consumption of the drug makes these chemicals destroy the coating of your enamel causing a rotting effect.
How to treat meth mouth
Treating meth mouth through other means is difficult because the medication may not be cheap depending on the damage. Detoxing and abstaining from the drug, is the best way of reversing the situation. As you get yourself clean from the drug, you not only change the symptoms in your body but also your mouth.
Though not easy, if you are ready to talk about your drug problem, your dentist will give you the right medication that will counteract your drug use. This is because combining some anesthetics with meth in your system may cause chances of developing heart problems. Medicines such as sialagogues are prescribed to increase the flow of saliva in your mouth to treat dryness.
Toothpaste that contains fluoride is recommended to help restore a decaying tooth. Get the right prescription from a dentist so to avoid further complications. Less damage may require some fillings and crowns to improve your physical appearance.
Encouraging meth users on the importance of oral hygiene by teaching them healthy diets that don't affect their teeth, is a step to fighting meth mouth.
Dentists also take you through treatment to help change your behavior so that you can prevent such situations. Habits such as tooth grinding are discouraged when using meth. They also encourage you to stay off the drug and look for rehabilitation to fight your dependence. Moral support is offered to boost your self-esteem in case you are suffering from stigma from a society that does not understand your problem.
This condition has been ignored for long since people concentrate on studying other side effects of meth overlooking how meth mouth affects users. Systematic studies on the situation would help the society handle meth mouth victims better. Instead of stigmatizing such victims, we should encourage them to change their lifestyle so that they can reverse meth mouth.
In as much as sugary things play a part in worsening meth mouth, what makes your teeth start darkening and falling is excessive use of meth. Abstaining from the drug will, therefore, give you a reason to smile due to a healthy dental formula.