Symptoms of Meth Mouth
The level of dental damage will depend upon the severity of the ice addiction. Occasional users will likely not suffer from this problem, at least not to the extent that a heavy ice user will. A study out of the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015 found that, when examining the dental condition of 571 meth users, 96% had cavities, 58% had untreated tooth decay, and 31% had six or more missing teeth. In addition, 40% of the meth users reported feeling self-conscious about the state of their teeth. Generally, women meth users have higher rates of cavities and tooth loss than males.
Signs and symptoms of meth mouth may include:
- Red and inflamed gum tissue
- Poor overall dental hygiene
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Broken, crumbling, or fractured teeth
Unfortunately, by the time someone with meth mouth seeks help for pain from a dentist the damage to the teeth is so severe that it is difficult to save the teeth. This is the result of neglecting dental health and hygiene for long periods, while simultaneously consuming sugary drinks and snacks in abundance. In the event of severe tooth decay, full-mouth extractions are performed and the individual will be fitted with dentures.