Meth abuse is becoming widespread across parts of Australia, and if you are a former meth user who has recently quit, you may find that you face significant issues with your dental health. While it is unfortunately impossible to reverse the effects of meth, you can take steps to stop the path of destruction that may already be happening in your mouth.
1. Schedule regular cleanings and fluoride treatments
Unfortunately, meth abuse often results in serious tooth decay that is similar to childhood caries. To prevent the decay from spreading, you need to address any issues. Have your dentist fill your cavities and extract any teeth that cannot be repaired.
Once that is done, make sure you get regular cleanings and have your hygienist administer topical fluoride to help prevent future decay.
2. Explore hypnosis and other relaxation techniques
Dentists give their patients a range of medications so they feel comfortable during and after dental procedures. However, if you have struggled with addiction in the past, it may be risky to use some pain killers, narcotics or anaesthesia as they can trigger addiction again if you are not ready for them.
If you see an abuse counsellor, talk with them about whether or not you are ready to use any of these medications. If not, try to only use nitrous oxide and explore non-medicinal relaxation techniques such as hypnosis.
3. Consider investing in a mouth guard
Decay related to meth abuse comes from a range of issues including grinding your teeth. Unfortunately, even after you quit using meth, you may still grind your teeth. If you do, consider investing in a mouth guard.
That protects your teeth as you sleep by putting a piece of soft plastic between your teeth so they do not wear down if you grind them.
4. Drink lots of water
Another cause of oral decay related to meth use comes from having a constantly dry mouth. Your mouth relies on spit for a number of reasons. For example, every time you swallow, you essentially wash food debris off your teeth.
If you have an excessively dry mouth due to past meth use, drink lots of water, and talk with your dentist about other steps you can take.
5. Focus on eating a healthy diet
Because meth is a suppressant, you likely didn't eat a lot when you were using it. As a result, your general health may have suffered as well as your dental health. As you try to rebuild those elements, focus on eating a healthy diet. It will boost your mood and also protect the healthy teeth you have left.
If you have specific questions about oral hygiene, talk with a dentist at a clinic like Brisbane Mall Dental Centre to learn more about how you can improve the health of your teeth and mouth.