As meth use increases, dentists across the country are starting to see what is now an epidemic: meth mouth. While using other drugs, smoking, and sugar cause oral damage, none can compare with the trauma inflicted by meth use.
A common sign of meth abuse is extreme tooth decay, a condition that has become known in the media as meth mouth. Users with meth mouth have blackened, stained, or rotting teeth, which most of the time can't be saved. The causes of meth mouth are not yet fully understood. Some reports have attributed the decay to the corrosive effects of the chemicals found in the drug, such as anhydrous ammonia (found in fertilizers), red phosphorus (found on matchboxes) and lithium (found in batteries), which when smoked or snorted might erode the tooth's protective enamel coating; however, it's more likely that this degree of tooth decay is brought on by a combination of side effects from meth use.
The following are photos of users with meth mouth: