Dental Disease Patterns in Methamphetamine Users: Findings in a Large Urban Sample
authors used a large community sample of methamphetamine (MA) users to verify
the patterns and severity of dental disease and establish a hierarchy of caries
susceptibility by tooth type and tooth surface.
stratified sampling approach, 571 MA users received comprehensive oral
examinations and psychosocial assessments. Three calibrated dentists
characterized dental and periodontal disease by using National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey protocols. The authors also collected data on
substance use history and other attributes linked to dental disease.
dental outcome measures, MA users evidenced high dental and periodontal
disease, with older (≥ 30 years) and moderate or heavy MA users
disproportionately affected. Women had higher rates of tooth loss and caries,
as well as a greater prevalence of anterior caries. Current cigarette smokers
were more likely to manifest 5 or more anterior surfaces with untreated caries
and 3 or more teeth with root caries. Nearly 3% were edentulous, and a
significant percentage (40%) indicated embarrassment with their dental
users have high rates of dental and periodontal disease and manifest a
dose-response relationship, with greater levels of MA use associated with
higher rates of dental disease. Women and current cigarette smokers are
affected disproportionately. The intraoral patterns and hierarchy of caries
susceptibility in MA users are distinctive.
prevalence and patterns of dental and periodontal disease could be used to
alert dentists to possible covert MA use and to plan treatment. Concerns about
dental appearance have potential as triggers for behavioral interventions.