Cannabis, methamphetamine and oral health

Using cannabis or methamphetamine can cause problems in your mouth.

Cannabis can increase your risk of developing gum disease, and methamphetamine can lead to tooth decay.

Photo of someone whose top teeth are heavily stained and worn down.‘Meth mouth’

This is a condition seen in the mouths of some users of methamphetamine.

This illegal drug causes severe tooth decay to the extent that some teeth are heavily stained and damaged badly. Often these damaged teeth have to be removed because they can’t be fixed.

Photo of someone with some teeth that have been broken and with heavy staining on the top teeth. There are various reasons for the cause of ‘meth mouth’ including:

  • poor oral hygiene among users of methamphetamine
  • the acidity of the drug
  • drug-induced dry mouth
  • cravings for fizzy or sugary drinks
  • a tendency of meth-users to clench or grind their teeth.

Support services

If you’d like confidential advice and support to get help for yourself or someone you know, make use of the free services listed below.

Alcohol Drug Helpline
Phone 0800 787 797

Reproduced with the permission of the New Zealand Dental Association, based on the ‘Keeping Your Teeth for a Lifetime ... Easy As’ resource.

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