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Meth mouth is an informal name for advanced tooth decay attributed to heavy methamphetamine use. According to the American Dental Association, meth mouth "is probably caused by a combination of drug-induced psychological and physiological changes resulting in xerostomia (dry mouth), extended periods of poor oral hygiene, frequent consumption of high calorie, carbonated beverages and tooth grinding and clenching."
Additional recommended knowledge
Meth mouth is "difficult to distinguish" from a simple case of poor oral hygiene. Dentists are advised to look for "unaccounted for and accelerated decay in teenagers and young adults" and "malnourished appearance in heavy users, because methamphetamine acts as an appetite suppressant."
Contrary to a number of media reports, meth mouth's contributing causes do not include a "corrosive", "acidic", or "caustic" effect of the drug itself on tooth enamel or gum tissue. Jack Shafer of Slate magazine has written a series of articles disputing the role of "chemical" or "contaminant" factors in causing meth mouth.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Meth_mouth". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|