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Drugs & Health Blog

Meth Mouth: Some Ugly Numbers

The NIDA Blog Team

We’ve described before how using meth can have a lot of really unpleasant effects on the body. One of those effects is “meth mouth,” where a meth user’s teeth become broken, stained, and rotten, and may eventually fall out. If it sounds ugly, just wait until you see some pictures of meth mouth (if you dare—they’re pretty hard to look at).

Well, the news about meth mouth got even worse recently: Turns out it happens to meth users a lot more often than was previously known.

Researchers examined 571 meth users and found that:

  • 96 percent of them had cavities (a cavity is a hole or other damage to the outside layers of a tooth—but you probably knew that).
  • Adults who said they used meth “moderately” or “heavily” were twice as likely to have untreated cavities as “light” users—“light” users had used the drug for less than 10 days over the previous month. (If a cavity goes untreated, it grows larger and larger, it can cause a really bad toothache, the cavity can become infected, and the tooth may have to be removed.)
  • 58 percent of the meth users had untreated tooth decay, compared with 27 percent of the general population in the U.S.
  • Only 23 percent kept all of their natural teeth, compared to 48 percent of the general population in the U.S. That’s a lot of additional tooth loss for the people who used meth.
  • A significant number of meth users (40 percent) said they were often self-conscious or embarrassed because of the condition of their teeth or dentures.

So it looks like the question with meth mouth isn’t really if it will happen to a person who uses meth. The question is more like, how bad will their meth mouth get?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.

Comments

bad thing happens
yea they do
great artical
Be careful
be careful by what u do
don't do drugs they are bad
don't do drugs they are bad
durrr
hi
I HAVE A METH MOUTH
you can die tooo
hi
drugs are the worst things that will happen to your life +
duh
I hope everyone gets the treatment needed to overcome Meth addiction. There's Light At The End of the tunnel.
hi
don't do drugs
drugs are healthy for u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
no they are not healthy for you
go away from drug guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it can kill u don't do them i'm a Kristin so belief me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It will take a community to pull together and reach out to those in need. In my town we have gotten a group together to help others find treatment centers and educate loved ones. NIDA has been a huge help with learning materials.
thats cool
Don't do drugs mmk
hi
the comments on this.... lol! XD
pls dnt do drugs it kills you trust me im a kristan grirl.
i likw that
What are you in second grade?
Ohhhhhhhhhhh that burn...
OMG
DRUGS ARE BAD MKA
methies are baddies... WEH!
Drugs are bad for you stay away from them.

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