On our last article, dental implants provider Drs. Migdal, Spector and the rest of their staff at Gentle Dentistry in Hawthorn, NJ spoke about some of history’s most interesting dental moments. However, today we want to talk about something a little more serious; the effect abusing methamphetamines has on your oral health.
Why Meth Mouth is so Infamous in the World of Dentistry
If you have read our “Am I a Candidate?” page on our website, you will see that there are a few factors that can absolutely ruin a person’s candidacy for dental implant treatment. One of those factors is drug abuse.
Even though the use of any drug is terrible for you, one drug, in particular, can wreak havoc on your oral health, and that drug is meth. The sad truth is any dentist worth his weight in feathers can spot a person who abuses methamphetamines from a mile away, and what’s even more disheartening is the fact that it’s not all that uncommon.
Meth is a common drug that is seen frequently in low-income communities and on the streets of big cities. It is highly addictive and has very distinct effects on a person’s teeth and oral health in general.
Let’s take a closer look at the specific effects of “meth mouth”, and why people who use this drug are not good dental implant candidates.
Methamphetamines cause blood vessels in a person’s body to shrink, therefore preventing blood from properly flowing into tissues. Your gums are full of blood vessels and they are supported by the blood that flows through them. When there is not enough blood flowing through your gum tissue, they begin to break down and become vulnerable to infection. Infections on the gums can quickly turn to periodontitis. Not to mention the fact that people who smoke meth also tend to form lesions in their mouths and on their gums. These lesions are very slow to heal.
People who abuse methamphetamines often suffer from severe dry mouth. Your saliva is your body’s natural and first line of defense against decay-causing bacteria. When there is not enough saliva in your mouth those bacteria are free to multiply and wreak havoc on your mouth.
Broken/Worn Down Teeth
Another characteristic of chronic meth users are broken or worn down teeth. This is because they tend to grind and clench their teeth. After a while, this action can eventually lead to the user’s teeth cracking and breaking. What makes the state of a meth user’s teeth even worse is that their teeth are even more likely to crack and break from being weak due to the tooth decay they are already experiencing.
In short, meth mouth is a nightmare for both dentists and the affected person. It will also ruin a person’s chances of receiving dental implants until they have sought help and gotten their addiction under control.
Until next time readers, say “no” to drugs and keep smiling.