Jason Cohen, Psy.D, M.A.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Jason Cohen, Psy.D., M.A., and I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist practicing in San Luis Obispo,CA. I hope you find this information educational, helpful, and/or interesting. If there is a specfic area you would like me to address or you have a question, do not hesitate to contact me. In addressing your questions, I will be sure to word responses in a way to maintain your privacy. You are also encouraged to post a comment.  

*Please note that topics presented and discussions occuring within this blog: 1) are of a general nature and therefore may have limited relevance to specific situations, 2) do not constitute a professional relationship between Dr. Cohen and those reading blog material or posting comments, and 3) should not substitute consultation with a mental health professional.

Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2013

FEB 19

Methamphetamine: The Austin Powers’ Smile…Yeah Baby!!

posted by Dr. Cohen on February 19, 2013 0:01 as Drugs

Unlike the Austin Powers movies, there nothing funny about methamphetamine addiction. The euphoric rush following orally ingesting, snorting, smoking, or injecting the drug, makes the initially (and relatively) inexpensive, easy to find, intoxicant hard to resist and highly addictive. Few drugs of abuse result in such a rapid and physically apparent deterioration of a once functional individual.

One such ill effect, "meth mouth”, refers to the common occurrence of dental issues ranging from a graying of the teeth to multiple missing, fractured and decayed teeth. Caustic chemicals used in producing the drug where once thought to be the culprit. Research (e.g., Shetty et al., 2010) would suggest otherwise. More specifically, IV users, as opposed to those who smoke meth which would allow the drug direct contact with teeth, appear to present with more significant dental issues.

So what’s the cause? Well, like most things, it is a combination of factors. Meth constricts blood vessels in salivary glands resulting in a dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva acts as a buffer for teeth. A reduction in saliva allows bacteria to more readily grow on teeth and also serves to increase the acidity in the user’s mouth. The drug also causes teeth grinding (bruxism) and cravings for food with high sugar content. Of course poor oral hygiene does not help matters.

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