Your teeth are critical for your overall health and wellbeing. After all, they allow you to chew your food into smaller pieces that your body can easily digest. In addition to their basic function, teeth help make us look good. Healthy teeth increase how attractive and welcoming other people perceive you, which affects your personal self-esteem and confidence.
But in order to protect your teeth and keep them healthy, you have to take care of them. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing, using mouth wash, and attending regular dental check-ups. This also includes avoiding substances like methamphetamine that can threaten the health and functionality of your teeth due to meth mouth. However, what is meth mouth, and what are its symptoms? The meth addiction treatment program at Footprints Beachside Recovery has answers.
What Is Meth Mouth?
Meth mouth is the tooth decay and poor dental hygiene that occurs with someone who has abused meth. Dentists often view meth mouth as a worst-case scenario because of the acidic tooth decay and additional dental changes that leave your teeth and mouth in such an unhealthy and dangerous state.
It’s important to recognize that using meth once may not significantly affect your teeth. However, as you increase your abuse of meth, your mouth takes more of a beating. How quickly the effects of meth mouth take hold depends on multiple factors, including the health of your teeth before you started using meth.
How Does Meth Mouth Affect Your Teeth?
There are three overarching ways that meth can damage your teeth.
Direct Impacts of Meth Mouth
The first signs of meth mouth will include cavities that require fillings and crowns, as well as swollen gums. Besides the substance itself, meth triggers cravings for sugary foods and drinks that are also bad for your teeth and overall health.
Over time, meth abuse can lead to significant tooth decay and the need for dentures and dental implants. This tooth decay is partly because of the acidic nature of meth. Meth is also known to decrease the amount of saliva your mouth has, and saliva is necessary to prevent acids from eating away at your tooth enamel.
Indirect Effects of Meth Mouth
Meth also affects your teeth indirectly because it impacts your mind and the rest of your body. For example, meth is known to cause paranoia and anxiety that can lead to jaw grinding and clenched teeth. Both actions are unhealthy for your mouth overall and aid in the decay of your teeth.
Meth addiction also suppresses your appetite. After all, a substance as addictive as meth can leave you prioritizing the drug over all else, including eating foods your body and brain need to function properly. Without a healthy diet, you won’t be able to get the nutrients required for healthy teeth and bones.
Methamphetamine Use Can Lead to Unhealthy Behaviors
Along that same line of thought, it isn’t just nutrition that you may have ignored because of your meth abuse. Those struggling with meth addiction are so focused on maintaining their drug use that they will also ignore the necessary dental care to keep their mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.
Whether directly or indirectly, meth mouth can cause symptoms such as:
- Dry mouth
- Gum disease
- Tooth removal
- Constant bad breath
In addition, meth use may increase your risk for oral cancer.
5 Tips on Preventing Meth Mouth
The best way to avoid meth mouth is to stop using meth completely. Of course, this is easier said than done if you’re struggling with meth addiction. If that is the case, it’s best that you seek addiction treatment immediately. Rehab at an accredited and effective treatment center like Footprints Beachside Recovery is the best way to break free from meth abuse and keep meth mouth from getting out of hand.
Besides meth addiction treatment, the following can also help you try to keep your teeth and mouth healthy:
- Follow recommended dental hygiene at home, including brushing and flossing twice a day
- Get regular teeth cleanings and have your teeth checked by a dentist twice a year
- Drink plenty of water to keep your body and mouth hydrated
- Chew sugar-free gum to help boost the saliva in your mouth
- Talk with your dentist about getting a retainer if you grind your teeth when you sleep
How Can Meth Addiction Treatment Help?
Meth addiction treatment can help you in numerous ways, including teaching you how to take care of your teeth and mouth while you’re in recovery.
While in rehab, you’ll also work on the underlying issues that led to your meth abuse in the first place. This will give you the tools you need to maintain your sobriety long-term and prevent a relapse back into meth use.
Footprints Beachside Recovery is a leading addiction treatment center that can help you overcome your meth abuse and get your life back on track. We offer a variety of evidence-based and holistic treatment methods, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Art therapy
- Biosound therapy
- Yoga therapy
Don’t wait until you experience meth mouth to get treatment. Reach out to Footprints Beachside Recovery today.
Holistic Treatment for Meth Addiction at Footprints Beachside Recovery
If you still are wondering, what is meth mouth, we welcome you to reach out to us for answers. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we offer holistic addiction treatment that’s designed to help you find lasting recovery from addiction. After personally struggling with and overcoming addiction, we know that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t effective. That’s why we take a personalized approach to rehab that tailors your meth addiction treatment to your specific needs and health challenges. We invite you to talk to one of our team members today to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help you recover from meth addiction. Contact us at 727.513.5972 or complete our convenient online form today to begin the recovery process.