Methamphetamine: Meth Mouth ReDux

The New York Times has another Methamphetamine Mouth story:

The condition, known to some as meth mouth, has been studied little in dentistry’s academic circles and is unknown to many dentists, whose patients are increasingly focused on cosmetic issues: the bleaching and perfect veneers of television’s makeover shows. But other dentists, especially those in the open, empty swaths of land where methamphetamine is being manufactured in homemade laboratories, say they are seeing a growing number of such cases.

Flap takes exception to these comments, because they are incorrect

This blogger has been publishing stories regarding methamphetamine since the inception of my first blog

Examples of recent stories are:

Wisconsin Governor Signs New Meth Law

Mexico: Primary Source of United States Methamphetamine Crisis

Methamphetamine: Another Meth Mouth Story

Santa Maria Times: Life on the Streets Battling Meth

Dentists are increasing aware of the scourage of methampetamine and how this is truely:


Flap as a California clinical dentist, who sees patients over thirty hours per week, examines patient;s with “Meth Mouth” all too frequently – a few times a week.

The hapless patients lose their teeth, but are in the process of losing their lives.

I urge the President and the Congress to please take the necessary steps to eliminate this deadly scourage.

4 thoughts on “Methamphetamine: Meth Mouth ReDux

  1. Thank you for your long-time work on this problem, Doctor. Too bad the Paper of Record has been so late to take notice.

  2. I’m currently researching meth mouth for a school project and I need to know if there is anything a dentist can do other than pull the teeth of a meth user after he/she has shown up with the blackened, rotted stubs that typify meth mouth.

    I would like to hope that there are possible positive outcomes.

    Thank you very much.

    Gillian Cox
    Cambridge, MA

  3. Regarding Gillian Cox’s query – “Is there anything a dentist can do other than pull teeth…”.

    Well, since teeth don’t re-grow per se, if one has bad teeth, (regardless of reason) the only things to be done are:

    – in cases of minor damage to the tooth, simple drill and restoration, just like a cavity.
    – more severe measures include root canal treatments and/or crowns
    – if ones teeth must be pulled, and sometimes that IS the only choice, one can have bridges and/or implants made.

    Of course, if one’s teeth are bad due to meth then the list must include: “Stop doing meth.”

    Unfortunately, not every toothless tweaker is going to be able to afford to do anything other than go to a subsidized community dental clinic and have their teeth pulled. This sucks – but not everyone can afford implants; in America 1 implant can cost about $3000. This is discouraging if those pulled teeth are YOURS – and especially if they are your FRONT teeth, the loss of which is undeniable and socially traumatic. I KNOW this because, one time when shooting meth I was pulling back a tourniquet with my mouth and a damaged front tooth broke in half. After I got help and got clean I found myself, for various reasons, in Central America, Costa Rica, specifically. Here, I was able to afford proper restorative measures. For 60-odd weeks I made weekly visits to my highly trained and experienced Costa Rican dentist. I received about $30,000 in restorative work for about $2,900.

    I think that’s a very positive outcome – my teeth have not been this well off since…almost ever.

    So, yeah, there ARE some things a dentist can do, but they can be expensive (or requiring of foreign travel). There is no simple magic bullet, if you fuck up your body with meth (DOPAMINE SYSTEM and teeth) – well, it’s not impossible to rectify (dopamine system largely repairs itself over a year plus of continued abstinence – and with effort and persistence ones dental issues can (somehow) be addressed); so there is hope. Good luck with your school project.

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