Australia’s top dental organization has warned that the increasing use of recreational drugs among the country’s youth, could lead to widespread tooth decay. The Australian Dental Association South Australian president Mark Hutton warns that the regular and increasing use of amphetamines and other recreational drugs has led to the new phrase "meth mouth", among medical specialists.
"Young people need to be aware of the long-term damage that drug use can cause to teeth," Dr Hutton says. "Alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs are a lethal cocktail for teeth and gums."
Dr Hutton's comments come in the wake of a report from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center last week, which found that 12 per cent of 24-year-olds had used amphetamines in the past year.
Hutton says that while some drugs are acidic in nature, users also tend to crave fizzy or sugary drinks that are equally bad for the teeth. In addition, coupled with reluctance among many young people to visit the dentist for regular checks, the problem only escalates.
"With the increase in drug use in this age group and a lack of regular dentist check-ups in this age group, it's fair to say that we have a serious problem," Dr Hutton says.
"This age group may believe their teeth and gums are healthy because they look all right now, but this does not mean that they will be healthy in the long term”, the doctor warns strongly.