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Ask Dr. K

What is meth mouth? Why does crystal meth use have a potential for ruining someone’s teeth?

"Meth mouth" is caused by a number of things. The saliva in your mouth keeps teeth healthy by reducing acid and bacteria that may hurt your teeth and gums. Meth makes the mouth very dry. A dry mouth makes the acid and bacteria more likely to damage the teeth. Also, the chemicals in crystal meth can be harmful to the mouth.

Meth users tend to grind their teeth or bite or chew on the inside of their mouths and cheeks. That hurts the skin and gums even more. Finally, meth users may eat sweets, candy and soda more, causing cavities, and may not brush or clean their teeth. The true frequency of meth mouth is unknown and we know many meth users with normal, healthy mouths and teeth.

To find more information on "meth mouth," click here. For harm reduction approaches to meth use check out or Crystal Neon.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Thursday, November 19, 2009.
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