Why Do Meth Addicts Have Such Terrible Teeth?

Perhaps you've seen pictures of methamphetamine addicts and noticed that their teeth are atrocious. Or maybe you know someone in person who uses meth and has awful teeth. It's easy to think the same won't happen to you if you start taking this drug. You may figure you'll take better care of your teeth than that, or that it's just a coincidence all those other meth users have terrible dental problems. Unfortunately, this manner of thinking won't protect your teeth. If you begin using meth, you're most certainly guaranteed to develop dental issues. Here's why.

Meth is very acidic.

The most direct cause of tooth decay is acid. Most cavities are caused by acid that is released by oral bacteria when they feed on sugar. Acidic beverages can also perpetuate tooth decay. None of this compares, however, to the acid your teeth are exposed to when you smoke meth. Methamphetamine is very acidic – so much so that dentists sometimes compare smoking meth to rinsing your mouth out with battery acid. Each time you smoke, you'll be wearing away your tooth enamel at an alarming rate.

Meth causes you to clench and grind your teeth.

While the acidic meth is eroding your enamel,  it will also be causing you to clench your teeth together and grind them from side to side. This is an unconscious reaction; you can't really prevent yourself from doing it, and you may not even notice that you're doing it at all. The pressure of that clenching just accelerates the breakdown of your teeth, and before you know it, they'll be chipping and cracking. Once you have a chip or a crack, that acid from the meth can start causing decay even more rapidly.

Meth makes you crave sweets and junk food.

You might think you'll be that one meth user who does it only once in a while and who otherwise maintains a healthy lifestyle. Well, you'd be a real needle in a haystack if that were true! Meth is hugely addictive, so it's very unlikely that you'll try it only a few times. When you're using (and that will be often), you'll crave sweets and junk food. This is not good for your teeth, since the sugars feed oral bacteria and perpetuate decay. Plus, without healthy foods in your diet, you won't be getting enough calcium and other minerals to keep your teeth strong.

Don't take up smoking meth thinking that you'll be different from all of the other addicts. Meth destroys teeth in several different ways; it's certain to destroy yours, too. For information on how to protect the health of your teeth, talk to a dentist at an office like Belgrade Dental Associates.