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Meth Mouth Essay

1187 words - 5 pages

Methamphetamine was first developed in 1893. It wasn’t until 1919 that it was turned into a crystalized form. Adolf Hitler actually received daily injections of methamphetamines for the last three years of his life to assist with depression and fatigue. It is highly addictive and tolerance develops quickly, requiring higher dosages or frequency. By the 1960’s Crystal Meth was being manufactured illegally in many homes. With eighty dollars’ worth of simple items that you can easily acquire from your local pharmacy and hardware store, you can turn to a profit of one-thousand dollars. It is no wonder this has become such an epidemic. With this new discovery also came the dental condition called ...view middle of the document...

Broken teeth happen frequently due to the weakening of the teeth because of the decay at the gum line and between the teeth. This in combination with the constant grinding caused by the methamphetamine causes the teeth to chip and break. The attrition of the teeth occurs with the wear of the enamel due to the constant grinding. The seriously bad breath remains a problem usually due to poor hygiene, tooth decay and dry mouth. The abscessed teeth happen when the decay is so bad that it kills the nerve in the tooth. All the effects mentioned can be painful to the meth users and can make it very difficult to eat and get proper nutrition.
The reason that meth users have so many dental issues is because once they get the meth crash or extra energy effect they are unable to perform simple tasking’s such as brushing their teeth, flossing, and rinsing. These effects can last many days for some individuals. All they can think of is when to get the next dosage or about what they are doing at the time, not about daily tasks. They do not drink water like they should either. Meth users usually drink carbonated drinks like soda to replenish the thirst and dry mouth which only adds to the problem because of the caffeine or sugar build up on the teeth. The aggressive carries result in complete destruction of the coronal portion of the teeth leaving multiple retained roots throughout the mouth. There are also other factors that are linked to contributing to this condition such as poor dieting. The legitimacy of this condition is still out for debate, but the advocates for this condition say the factors are all there.
The treatment of meth mouth is extremely difficult and could also be very dangerous for active users. As stated before, the teeth in some cases are so bad and decayed that they cannot be saved and must be removed. Meth mouth treatment can also be very costly to the users. Cardiac problems can arise from the result of local anesthetics with the drugs. Salivary flow must be increased to reduce the dry mouth, tooth decay must be stopped and treated and the individual must stop the bad oral hygiene habits. Treating the patients takes prescribing fluoride to fight tooth decay and medication to increase saliva for dry mouth. Rehabilitation along with proper dental care are very critical in reducing the individual’s meth mouth case. Education can also be a very effective treatment if the patient is receptive to change. They have to be willing to take that first step. It is always good for people to know how to properly brush and floss their...

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