Meth Mouth

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

"It's a devastating problem and in the last six months it’s not uncommon for me to see five to 10 cases per day."

Dr. Chris Steward says he is seeing more and more cases of what's called "meth mouth" at his Cave City dentist office.

"I'm seeing what I call an epidemic of people in the 20-30 year old age group that are coming in with their teeth totally destroyed. I mean I'm talking literally every tooth in their mouth."

Steward says there's no mistaking the look of a meth user's teeth.

"Their mouth has what I call the "blow torch" look. The gums and the soft tissue what we call the buckle mucosa out on the cheeks, is fire engine red. Their teeth are very chalky. Their teeth are actually non-vital."

The meth users teeth break off at gum level and the damage is irreversible.

"To restore a mouth like that sometimes would cost $2000-$5000. And by the time they come to me, they are out of money and down on their luck."

Meth is mostly a drug used by a younger crowd. Steward says the patients he is seeing with this damage are all under the age of 32.

"Have you seen anything this bad? I saw seven of these last Monday. They were just like this or worse. This is pretty much a typical case."


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