Dentist Can Help Parents Detect Kids Methamphetamine Abuse

Dentist can help parents to detect if there is any changes in their kid’s oral health which could be associated with drug abuses.  One common drug abuse is methamphetamine.  When patients come in for biannual dental checkup, dentist would detect any changes in their oral health.  This includes any health problems caused by diseases or drug abuses.  There are signs and symptoms dentist can detect in the oral cavity and in the facial regions.

A methamphetamine abuser usually have what’s called the meth mouth.  Xerostomia or dry mouth is common occurence.  The oral cavity is dry because of vasoconstriction caused by the drug.  This vasoconstriction also can cause the teeth to die from inside out.  The teeth will become rotten from the interior pulpal chamber.  Often the teeth will break at the neck, leaving unsightly blackened root stump exposed.  Multiple teeth will have severe cavity at the smooth surface and may break off at the gum line.

Meth Mouth
“Meth Mouth”, multiple blackened cavity on the smooth surface of tooth. Some may break off at the gum line

On the facial region, the skin will be excessively dry due to vasoconstriction effect of the drug.  The skin may have multiple scratch marks because the drug abuser would experience severe itch on their skin and the skin on arms, legs, and face may be scarred.


Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

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Genral Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona. Practicing General Dentist


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