Getting dental help to repair ‘meth mouth’

Methamphetamine use is a growing problem in Australia. Amongst the many unpleasant side effects of methamphetamine use is a characteristic rapid decay of the teeth known as 'meth mouth'. Once someone leaves a life of addiction this can be a painful reminder of that stage of their life and they may want to start repairing the dental damages. Here are some hints if you or someone you know wants to repair their smile. 

Take it in stages

As you start the treatment it's important to first stabilise the decay in the mouth, and start healthy hygiene habits. It may take a series of visits to repair all of the damage, before you can start cosmetic efforts to repair the smile. Ask the dentist to help map you a schedule of the dental treatment ahead of you so that you know what to expect and can make plans as well as budgeting for the entire treatment. 

You may be eligible for Medicare benefits to help you start these efforts, particularly if your poor oral health is leading to difficulties in eating a healthy diet. 

Be honest 

If you have stopped using meth but are still using any other drugs, including doctor prescribed drugs to help you deal with the side effects of withdrawal, you should be careful to mention these to your dentist. These drugs can interact with the local anaesthetics that the doctor might prescribe for your treatments, or the antibiotics that you might need to take to control infections in the mouth. 

If you are nervous about taking certain kinds of painkillers after drug use the dentist can often recommend alternatives which are not potential drugs of addiction. 

Follow up 

Be sure to keep attending your appointments and maintaining good oral hygiene between appointments. You will remain extra vulnerable to decay and tooth breakage until the dental work is complete so you may also want to take some steps to control your diet to mainly softer foods to make sure you don't put any undue stresses on to damaged teeth. You'll also want to keep brushing and flossing those newly restored teeth to keep them pearly white. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from 'meth mouth' and wants to get their teeth restored so that they are not reminded of their addiction, it is a good idea to talk to a dentist with experience in this field. They can plan a series of work to repair the damage and restore a beautiful smile.