Discussion in 'Methadone' started by Vegas shortee, Jan 11, 2005.
Does methadone make your teeth fall out???
Methadone I mg/I ml attacks your teeth because:
Methadone can restrict the production of saliva which is one of the body's natural defences against plaque.
if you are prescribed methadone that is not sugarfree it will be:
50% syrup which causes the growth of plaque the commonest cause of tooth decay.
Apart from finding a good dentist (your drug agency should be able to put you in touch with one) and regular dental care, it really helps to:
Cut sugary foods out of your diet
Drink your methadone through a straw
Clean your teeth straight after you take it - every time
Chew sugar-free gum
Rinse your mouth with water after you've taken methadone.
But, in the end, methadone is no worse for your teeth than eating sweets or taking sugar in tea and coffee! And research has shown that the teeth of opiate users on methadone scripts are no worse than those of opiate users not on a script.
on almost all the methadone clinic websites i saw there was a part about tooth decay being a myth, this is from one clinics site:
Another common myth states that methadone causes your teeth to decay. Methadone does not cause tooth decay. A poor diet and lack of regular dental care leads to these problems.
as long as you take good care of your teeth by brushing them often and as toxic mind says,take it with a straw or even a syring if you can get one from the chemist,(of course without the needle)
Bumpity bump...does methadone really make your teeth fall out, or is it just one of those old drug myth like "methadone gets into your bones?"
It's a myth, but has a little kernel of truth to it.
As the initial post states, methadone (as well as all other opiates/opioids - and a whole host of other medications/drugs too!) decreases the production of saliva. Saliva's purpose in the mouth is to wash away bacteria that would happily munch away on the enamel otherwise. When someone's taking medication/drugs that cause "dry mouth" (and so many things do - heroin, oxycodone & methadone to methylphenidate (Ritalin) & methamphetamine to Prozac), that person has to be extra careful with their dental health; in particular making sure to drink (at least!) small sips of water throughout the day to make up for the lack of saliva. This will wash away the bacteria as well.
There's a theory that many opiate addicts aren't taking care of their teeth when they're out there using (be it heroin or opiate pills); those illicit opiates also cause dry mouth, and most users aren't overly concerned with their oral hygiene (or even know that they should be). So the tooth decay starts back then. When such a person enters methadone maintenance treatment, after they've been stable for a bit, they often start noticing lots of "little aches & pains" as well as just start taking care of themselves in general, by going to the doctor for the first time in goodness knows how long, making appointments for dental checkups, etc. It's at this time they may discover the tooth decay. OR, they may not have had any/much tooth pain prior to starting MMT (perhaps the other drugs masked it, since before the user was usually "high" whereas on MMT the user is just "normal"?), and goes to the dentist and blames the decay on MMT, instead of *YEARS* of dry-mouth-inducing drug ab/use perhaps combined with poor oral hygiene.
But that kind of decay takes years to accrue, and from what I hear many MMT clients seem to notice dental pain around the first year mark. It's far more likely that it started prior to entering MMT, & is only noticed/dealt with once someone starts taking care of themselves better.
tl;dr - Methadone doesn't make your teeth fall out, but it can cause dry mouth, which can contribute to tooth decay if not factored into one's oral hygiene plan.
I think that hits the nail on the head.
Most dental problems in MMT clients seem to be caused by root or subgingival (below gum level) cavities. Improving oral hygiene helps keep surface caries at bay, but the destruction below the gums and into the roots continues. Dry mouth (xerostomia) plays a big part in that, and the cause may be the opiate use, the general lack of health and dental care, poor diet, and the use of certain other drugs such as antidepressants (plus other things).
Also its worth pointing out here that there is significant oral health issues for many people with HCV, so that's even more incentive for injectors to be safe and know their HCV status :thumbsup:
I agree, the teeth thing is definitely a myth.
Methadone and other Opiates are actually very safe on the body, compared to alcohol and other drugs Like Methamphetamine, etc.
As long as your taking care of yourself by eating right, brushing your teeth and flossing everyday, using mouthwash, showering, taking vitamins, having regular dental appointments and doing everything necessary to be healthy, you should have no problems. Calcium supplements are also good for your teeth and bones. I have read methadone can make your mouth dry so make sure to try and avoid this as well.
It's when you start ignoring your health and not taking care of yourself that problems can arise. This sometimes can be easy to do when your high as a kite and occupied. But with Methadone you should have no problems, considering you wont be to high to want to do stuff.
Swim's been on Methadone for a couple of months now and I am very healthy.
Swim's an everyday user on a high dose(70mgs), and you wouldn't be able to tell at all. Swim looks like the average Joe.
can taking methadone cause ulcerated mouth and sore tongue? i have noticed i have got a few ulcers which have come on since taking meth and also however much i brush my teeth they feel really ruff and rank, i gather this is a not so good side effect?
Be sure to brush regularly, keep the mouth hydrated. See an MD for bloodwork/liver enzyme workup.
The symptoms you describe are not usual side effects of methadone use.
Be sure to drink plenty of liquids, avoid acidic foods like tomatoes. As stated sugarless gum can be very helpful in keeping the mouth hydrated and avoiding xerostomia(dry mouth).