Meth mouth is just one of the many negative side effects which methamphetamine causes to the body’s health. Tooth decay can be so severe in meth users that teeth often blacken or crumble. There are several reasons for why meth produces such severe cavities in your mouth such as:
- Xerostomia: This condition is a dry mouth which meth causes by reducing saliva flow. Saliva is imperative for dental health because it cleans out food debris, neutralizes acids that cause decay, and brings substances into the mouth which rebuild tooth enamel and fight disease.
- Sugar Cravings: When meth users are on a high, they often develop an intense craving for sugary drinks. This causes decay because when plaque bacteria process sugars they produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: A meth high lasts longer than highs from other drugs, sometimes for 12 hours. These long periods of time often result in a meth user skipping the oral hygiene habits which are necessary in maintaining dental health.
- Meth Ingredients: Though this isn’t a major cause of tooth decay, the acidic nature of meth does contribute to it. Some of these ingredients include battery acid, household cleaning agents, and fertilizers.