The use and abuse of Methamphetamine begins a typical decay of the enamel coating of your teeth. Meth buildup acts like a highly active bacteria from food and eats all of the way through the enamel to the softer dentin at the center of the tooth. Meth debris quickly chews at the dentin until it is completely removed. This results in the typical “meth mouth” of methamphetamine drug abusers. Their teeth are blackened, decayed and sometimes are missing altogether, just depressions in the gum.
If you or someone you know has abused methamphetamine and are in danger of aggressive tooth decay, there are some steps you can take to reduce the ravages of the drug.
First, your tooth care must be far more thorough than it was during regular periods of eating. Particles will be embedded which are likely to be much smaller than normal food particles. You must use all three methods of brushing, flossing and water picking. All three methods fulfill different requirements.
First, brushing actively scrapes off stuck-on food (and meth buildup) and polishes the teeth. This polishing is necessary, because even a small amount of buildup from foreign particles decreases the amount of calcium regeneration of the tooth. This is the first step and it is the solid, primary particle remover. Remember, brushing your teeth hard is not necessary and can be detrimental. Do yourself a favor and brush gently and thoroughly, over a long period of time.
Next, flossing removes hard, stuck-on buildup in between teeth and around the roots of teeth, where your brush cannot reach. It is fine to be more aggressive with flossing than with brushing. Regular floss is fine, but a floss pick set at a right-angle from the handle may be more dexterous. Your goal is to scrape along the side of the tooth, even below the gum line. Simply getting it between two teeth and moving it around a little will not cut it. You must scrape up and down and around (in a crescent shape) the side of each tooth, so when you are between teeth, you will have two separate sides to clean.
Cleaning your teeth with a water pick (as long as you are thorough and gentle about it) can occasionally replace both brush and flossing, since it can get the major work of both methods completed. It is recommended that you use all three methods if you are battling the aggressive decay from methamphetamine particles.
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Mintzer, Richard. Meth & speed=Busted! Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2005. Print.
Spalding, Frank. Methamphetamine: the dangers of crystal meth. New York: Rosen Pub., 2007. Print.