Dental health experts can't say for certain what causes meth
mouth or why meth is so damaging, but they have some good
Meth contains highly corrosive ingredients, including
anhydrous ammonia, red phosphorous, lithium from car batteries,
and muriatic acid.
Meth causes dry mouth, which results from a reduced flow of
saliva. Saliva is needed to wash away food and neutralize the
acids produced by the bacteria in plaque. If you don't have
enough saliva to do this, these acids can cause extensive
Meth makes users thirsty and craving sugary drinks. Mountain
Dew has become the preferred drink of meth users, and a 12 ounce
can contains about 12 teaspoons of sugar.
The highly addictive nature of the drug causes users to stop
caring for their personal hygiene, including brushing and
flossing their teeth.
Meth abuse can also lead to bruxism, or grinding of teeth.
This occurs because addicts become nervous and paranoid and tend
to hallucinate. Persistent bruxism may explain why teeth become
twisted in a patient with meth mouth.
In addition to the possibility of losing all of their teeth, meth
users face the following health risks:
Inflammation of the heart lining.
Cardiovascular problems, including rapid heart rate,
irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and stroke-producing
damage to small blood vessels in the brain.
Acute lead poisoning. (lead acetate is commonly used to make
For those who inject the drug, damaged blood vessels,skin
abscesses, and an increased risk for transmittable diseases such
If taken while pregnant, birth defects and premature
Hyperthermia and convulsions due to an overdose, resulting in
death if not treated immediately.