Abusing meth can lead to a variety of medical and mental health problems, as addiction causes you to constantly increase your use in order to continue experiencing intoxication. Meth effects on teeth are also severe, as users commonly deal with a condition known as meth mouth. Meth is a dangerous and highly addictive illicit substance that can cause severe physical dependence. Even though meth is illegal, 1.6 million Americans have used meth in the past year. Meth addiction is also becoming more common. In 2016, 684,000 Americans ages 12 and older struggled with a meth addiction. By 2017, nearly 1 million people met the criteria for meth addiction, demonstrating a sharp increase.
What is Meth?
Meth is an illegal central nervous system stimulant that creates powerful feelings of euphoria and energizing effects. Intoxication can last for 8 hours or longer and can lead to sleep deprivation. Meth is sold in either a solid or powder form, with most people smoking or inhaling it. Sometimes, users inject meth in order to prolong and intensify the high, which can increase the risk of suffering an overdose. Meth can cause both psychological and physical dependency. When you use meth, your brain associates it with pleasure because meth is a neurotransmitter inhibitor. Unfortunately, while intoxication is euphoric, the comedown effect is equally unpleasurable. That’s because once intoxication ends, your brain is left with a sudden lack of pleasurable neurotransmitters. This can cause you to deal with intense cravings to use more, as well as experience depression and anxiety. Since it’s common to stay up for prolonged periods of time when using meth, abusing it can cause significant sleep disturbances. Meth binges can even cause psychosis, especially if you stay up for several days. Common signs of meth addiction include:
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using
- Spending most of your time using or acquiring meth
- Isolating from others in order to use meth
- Dealing with legal problems as a result of your use
- Difficulty controlling or stopping your meth use
Meth Effects on Teeth
Meth effects on teeth are one of the telltale signs of addiction. Smoking meth is especially detrimental to your dental health because of the dangerous additives that can quickly cause dental problems. Meth effects on teeth can include:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
- Structural damage to your teeth
Meth effects on teeth are also highly visible. Meth mouth can cause your teeth to turn black, which is a sign of severe tooth decay. Addiction can also lead to tooth loss, as untreated tooth decay can cause gum disease and infections. During addiction, it’s common to neglect medical, mental health, and dental appointments. Unfortunately, dental conditions get worse when left untreated. While some conditions caused by meth use are reversible, meth effects on teeth may cause permanent damage. The damage is also more than cosmetic. Having fractured or missing teeth can lead to an overbite or underbite and an increased risk of infections. Missing teeth can also cause surrounding teeth to shift in order to fill the gap, which can cause significant misalignment. Dental problems can also be painful. Meth addiction is also correlated with poor dieting. Eating sugary foods and drinking excessive amounts of caffeine can worsen dental conditions and bad eating habits are common during addiction.
Finding Treatment Today
Struggling with a meth addiction can damage your relationships, career, and finances. Meth addiction can create significant instability, as maintaining a job or a steady source of income is difficult during addiction. Meth effects on teeth can also cause permanent damage, making early treatment the best way to prevent potential medical issues. To find out more about our programs or to discuss your treatment options, contact us today at 1.713.528.3709.