Meth Mouth – Pictures, Symptoms, Facts and Treatment

What is Meth Mouth?

Meth Mouth pics
Picture 1 – Meth Mouth
Source – doctorspiller

Meth mouth is an oral condition that is seen in persons who use methamphetamine drug for longer time.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive drug. Medically, this drug is used for the treatment of ADHD and exogenous obesity. Crystal methamphetamine is also known as meth, glass, crank or speed and the smokable form of methamphetamine is called ‘ice’.

The main ingredients of methamphetamines are Lithium, ether, red phosphorus, and Iye. All the key ingredients of methamphetamines are corrosives and cause skin irritation. Methamphetamine can be easily made at home labs.

Action of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that alters the release of neurotransmitters.  Chemically it is similar to dopamine and nor epinephrine and crosses the blood-brain barrier easily. It can directly enter the nerve cell membrane and reach the nerve terminal and cause the release of neurotransmitters. They affect the pleasure reward pathway and a higher concentration can elicit feelings of euphoria and pleasure.

Meth Mouth Symptoms

images of Meth Mouth
Picture 2 – Meth Mouth Picture
Source - doctorspiller

Below are the common symptoms of meth mouth associated with meth abuse :

Dry Mouth

Methamphetamine acts on salivary glands and stops the production of saliva. As a result the oral cavity dries out. Saliva acts as a buffer neutralizing the acidic nature of the food we eat. Also if the salivary flow is decreased the acidic content in the food stuffs may damage the outer layer of tooth ie, the enamel and creates small spots on the tooth surface. These small spots eventually turn into cavities or dental caries. The bacterial level may increase to ten times than the normal amount if the mouth is dry.

Cracked Meth Mouth Teeth

Teeth grinding are sometimes a way of relieving stresses. Severe bruxism in meth users produces cracks in teeth that is already damaged due to tooth decay.

Tooth Decay

High sugar diet along with meth use causes severe tooth decay. Pictures of meth mouth show that tooth decay is common in all meth addiction cases.

Gum Disease

The immunity level in meth users is low as a result the germs tend to attack the gums and teeth structure resulting in meth mouth sores. Long term meth abuse may lead to a necrotizing condition of gingiva called ANUG.

Bruxism

As methamphetamine is a stimulant drug, the user becomes nervous and may go days without sleep. This leads to unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Being awake for several days as a result of the stimulant action of methamphetamine effects, the person may forget to brush his teeth for days together. As a result plaque accumulates on the teeth surface.

Meth Mouth Health Hazards

In addition to the above methamphetamine teeth symptoms, meth users face the following health hazards :

  • Vaso Constriction- Methamphetamine causes narrowing of blood vessels which is mainly attributed to the key ingredient, pseudoephedrine present in it.
  • Meth mite itching- As meth can easily cross the nerve cell membrane, the nerve endings are highly affected and the person may feel itching under skin. They feel as if there is some bug, meth mites under the skin. They scratch hard to get relief from itching. Continuous scratching result in meth sores.
  • Heart problems including inflammation of the heart lining, hypertension, increased heart rate
  • Lead poisoning.- Lead is one of the ingredients in the production of crystal meth.
  • Risks for HIV, damage blood vessels and skin abscess  for those who inject the drug
  • Premature delivery if taken during pregnancy
  • Convulsions and hyperthermia if the drug is taken in excess.

Meth mouth pictures from reliable medical websites reveals the bad part of the meth face effects and the meth mouth before and after changes of treatment.

Meth Mouth Facts or Misconceptions about Methamphetamines

The fact about meth mouth is that, it is not the chemical ingredient in crystal meth that causes meth effects like dental caries, gingivitis etc, but due to the associated condition called xerostomia. Xerostomia or dry mouth is a common symptom in meth addicts.

Meth Mouth Treatment

Kick Out the Habit

The most important aspect of treating effects of meth mouth is complete cessation of meth consumption. Only if the intake of drug is stopped, the rest of the treatment will be effective.

Dental Restoration

If the meth tooth decay is in the initial stage, it can be filled and prevent further caries spread. If the caries is in the front of the teeth, an esthetic filling can be done. Or if the caries is extended, the person can go for an RCT or root canal filling.

Treating Gingivitis

Gingivitis if left untreated will lead to infection of periodontal bone and later bone loss. Cleaning of teeth at dental office and antibiotics if there is infection may be necessary.

Treating Xerostomia

Treatment of xerostomia is important when dealing with meth teeth. One can try artificial saliva or medicines that increase the flow of saliva.

Other Preventive Measures

Proper oral hygiene maintenance and timely visit to dentist is important in treating meth mouth. The dentist may advice the patient to use some medications and mouth rinses to help the gingiva and the other affected areas to heal faster.

Meth Mouth Pictures

Check out Meth Mouth photos to understand the condition better.

pictures of Meth Mouth
Image 3 – Meth Mouth Photo
Source – mappsd

photos of Meth Mouth
Photo 4 - Meth Mouth Image
Source - freewebs

A dentist needs to be consulted at the onset of meth mouth teeth symptoms and seek GP’s help for other health issues to prevent meth mouth.

References :

http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/bohdcfh/odh/pdf/Meth-Mouth.pdf

http://www.ca.uky.edu/HES/FCS/FACTSHTS/HEEL-SSB-405.pdf

Published on February 28th 2011 by  under Mouth, Teeth and Oral Health.
Article was last reviewed on 11th March 2011.

One Response to “Meth Mouth – Pictures, Symptoms, Facts and Treatment”

  1. SPEEDY says:

    Sure being high is great. So I thought i could beat it by brushing teeth, flossing and using mouth wash right after. But guess what? You can’t beat it at its own game. The only thing it did was slow down this process. Once it gets through the enamel it is like the snow ball effect. Now theres no way to reverse it. Chewing gum did help my mouth start producing saliva but once again, just prolongs your perfect smile for a bit longer. If your looking for a solution that actually works? My advice to you is put down the torch and pizzo and get back on the road to sobriety. Truth me, once you are completely clean your not going to want to go back because once you look back, your going to realize how much money you have spent and the countless hours in the garage taking stuff apart and everything else along with it. Now think, all that money and time spinning your wheels on that mission that you assigned yourself to was a waste. You will have nothing to show for it except rotten teeth. Now your second option is to spend money going to school and do something constructive with your time and better your future. But I was once in your shoes and reading this alone won’t change your mind, going to N/A meetings will not change your mind. The only thing that is going to help you is yourself. If you aren’t ready to stop then forget it. The most sophisticated rehab won’t be able to help nor will anything else. Once you truly decide you are ready, then you will see all the windows of opportunity open up and your back on the path of a clean healthy lifestyle, but until then nothing will change. I am not a doctor, councellor or someone who researches this for a living. I have been down that road and traveled it for a long time. This is the true reality of it and I believe someone in that same position as I once was is a hundred times more likely to listen than a doctor who is living in a million home and has probably never even smoked pot. So if you want that sober life back thats the mentality you need. Think this is all bullshit? So did I back in high school when family members of mine took that step to becoming a contributing member of society again. Its going to be bad but just get it done!!!!

Leave a Reply