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Does methadone cause tooth decay?

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Old 03-10-2010, 05:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 1
Methdne HB User
Does methadone cause tooth decay?

I am a former opiate user. This began after my jaw was broken from being hit in the face with a lacrosse ball while playing the sport.

My jaw was wired for several months and the pain was excruciating, so much in fact that I was given morphine then switch to dilaudid, 4mg.

I took them for 5-6 months even after my jaw was unwired. When I ran out one day I started to experience withdrawal from the opiates and by the second day I wanted to kill myself as it was VERY unpleasant. I couldn't work, in fact I couldn't do anything including looking after myself until I took some morphine and it all went away.

I started seeking out morphine terrified to face withdrawal and I eventually started using heroin, bad move. 3 years later I was still at it. Finally I went on methadone. I am on 75 mg/ml and maintain a normal life for the most part.

I have always been clean and healthy, shower in the morning and before bed, I brush my teth maybe 4 times a day etc. I noticed after my 3 year on methadone the my teeth began to decay at a very rapid rate. Luckily it is in the back. All 4 wisdom teeth have broken off at the gum line leaving gaping holes in the back of my mouth and because I smoke I experienced "dry socket", THAT was very very painful.

I spoke to and looked at the mouths of others on methadone and some of the look like monsters, all filthy jagged teeth and so on.

My meth Dr. says its NOT methadone the has caused the decay and it obviously isn't my fault as I am very hygienic. Evey single opiate user / abuser says the very same thing, methadone ruined their teeth.

Am I right or wrong??? I live a good life, my own home, I work for public transit on SKYTRAIN so it's not like I am some homeless person eating chocolate bars and drinking pop for breakfast. I don't use sugar and have a low sugar intake regardless. I think it's the methadone which is basically a heroin substitute in liquid form that I drink every day. Thanks...G in Vancouver

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Old 03-11-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 838
emsmom HB User
Re: Does methadone cause tooth decay?

Hello G,

Yes, methadone CAN cause tooth decay but not more than any other opiate. They can all have the same effect. All opiates cause a reduction in saliva which can lead to an increase in plaque and dental bacteria.

I can relate to your pain. I had dry socket last year and it was horrendous. I hope everything works out for you.

Good luck,

Old 03-13-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Posts: 14
shonny035 HB User
Re: Does methadone cause tooth decay?

I was on methadone mainenance for 7 long years. During this time, my teeth rotted from the inside out. It was horrible. I was only 30, had to get some false teeth. The methadone worked for me, but there are some bad side effects and coming off of is a nightmare in itself.

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