211045 Meth Mouth: The Effect of Drug Use Patterns, Behavior and Knowledge on Caries Status between Methamphetamine Users and Non-Users

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ronni Brown-Kimbrew, DDS, MPH , University of California, Los Angeles School of Publci Health, Oakland, CA
The study examined the impact of drug use patterns on the development of “meth mouth”; an accelerated form of dental decay associated with methamphetamine use. Sixty adult inmates with a history of methamphetamine use (MA users) and 40 adult inmates with no history of methamphetamine use (non-MA users) participated in this case-control study at the Sonoma County Jail. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding dietary habits, oral hygiene behaviors, access to dental care and knowledge of “meth mouth”. MA users were asked about their pattern of drug use, history of xerostomia and their perceptions of the drug's impact on their dental health. Oral examinations were performed and the number of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth were counted and combined to produce a DMFT score. MA users had significantly higher DMFT scores (P=0.029) and were more knowledgeable about “meth mouth” (0.010) than non-MA users. MA users were more likely to recall xerostomia (P=0.000) during drug use and to report a decline in their dental health after exposure to the drug (P=0.000). There were no significant differences in DMFT scores based upon the pattern of drug use. The majority of participants had not received information about “meth mouth” and few cited a physician or dentist with informing them about the disease. With an estimated health care cost of $351.3 million dollars per year associated with methamphetamine abuse, health professionals must discuss the physical effects of the drug with their patients; “meth mouth” being one effect with lifelong negative implications for the user.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant should be able to describe the oral side effects of methamphetamine usage, the patterns of dietary and hygiene behaviors of the methamphetamine user and the cost to society attributable to methamphetamine use.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Delta Omega student nominee
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.