Meth mouth is the name given to the overt dental disease that is one of the signs of chronic methamphetamine use.
Clinical examination often reveals blackened, stained, rotting or crumbling teeth. Serial studies only a few years apart may show a striking deterioration in the patient's oral health. These features are usually obvious on OPG and associated dental abscess formation should also be excluded 1,2.
Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant that is rising in popularity 1. It can be smoked or injected intravenously.
The direct causative link between methamphetamine and dental disease has not been established. It is thought that drug-induced xerostomia, dehydration and teeth grinding are just some of the factors contributing to the dental disease 1,2.
Whilst the clinical history is usually suggestive of drug-induced dental disease, less severe dental deterioration, erosions and caries could also be demonstrated in other states causing increased intraoral acidity, particularly bulimia and severe reflux.
- 1. Shetty V, Mooney LJ, Zigler CM et-al. The relationship between methamphetamine use and increased dental disease. J Am Dent Assoc. 2010;141 (3): 307-18. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 2. Saini T, Edwards PC, Kimmes NS et-al. Etiology of xerostomia and dental caries among methamphetamine abusers. Oral Health Prev Dent. 2006;3 (3): 189-95. Pubmed citation
- 3. Hamamoto DT, Rhodus NL. Methamphetamine abuse and dentistry. Oral Dis. 2009;15 (1): 27-37. doi:10.1111/j.1601-0825.2008.01459.x - Pubmed citation
- 4. Heng CK, Badner VM, Schiop LA. Meth mouth. N Y State Dent J. 2009;74 (5): 50-1. Pubmed citation