Meth Mouth - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

Meth Mouth

Meth Mouth
By:  Wes Wallace

Cape Girardeau, MO -- These days dentists in the Heartland often do more than just clean teeth and fill cavities. "With the high rate of meth, a lot of dentists around here are seeing it," explains Dr. John Sauer, a 13-year dentistry veteran.

Sauer sees all sorts of dental problems with his patients, but he says signs of what's called 'meth mouth', are a dead giveaway. "I had a 16-year old patient. For one checkup, she had zero cavities, but a year and a half later, she had 18!"

The harsh chemicals meth makers use to create the drug take a huge toll on the teeth, plus Dr. Sauer explains they cause a condition known as dry mouth. To fix the problem, a meth addicts tend to drink sugary soft drinks, which causes rapid tooth decay.

"Whenever you have no saliva to wash away bacteria, it just opens up room for your teeth to rot or decay," explains Sauer.

Other dentists in the Cape Girardeau area say they encounter meth mouth very frequently, but as one put it, "It's not something you really can talk to your patients directly about."

Even so, Dr. Sauer says more dentists need to discuss the issue, as difficult as it may be to try an discuss.

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