Is there any documented proof that either methadone or methadose is the cause of excessive tooth damage or decay.Through sources quite a few patients complain that they have acquired severe tooth decay since seeking help through methadone clinics?.
Does Methadone / Methadose use cause tooth decay?
Question posted by Little52 on 8 May 2006
Last updated on 17 June 2022 by RyanM22
It's fairly easy to find this information but, I will answer this question. Methadone or methadone, or metadol-d, do not contain anything that will rot your teeth. What they will do that can result in tooth decay is cause dry-mouth or a lack of saliva being created in your mouth. When this occurs it can speed up tooth decay and make it more difficult to keep our mouths and teeth clean. So, this is why patients using these medications can notice tooth problems and relate them to the methadone etc.
I have been on Methadone for almost 10 years! My teeth were perfect until about a year and a half after I became stable on my dose then they started to rot! Although I do think that Methadone can help with tooth decay it is not the only factor!! It takes years before Heroin, pain killers, coke, etc actually starts to rot the teeth and most of the damage is done during drug abuse!! but methadone does help the process! I had to get implants for my whole upper teeth and I am in the process of getting a few implants for about 4 bottom teeth! but most of the damage that was done to my teeth was done while I was chewing up oxycontin and shooting heroin and coke!!
I have been on long term MMT for over 10 years. I am a working,professional adult, I gave birth to a 10lb healthy baby while in MMT. My child had no side effects and did not need any treatment for methadone.
I have heard SO many reports about tooth decay and methadone, but for me personally, I have not had any issues. I brush twice a day, and floss every day, I also use ACT mouth rinse before bedtime. I am a little paranoid about my teeth though, just because of all the horrible stories I've read.
Methadone treatment has absolutely allowed me to live a normal, healthy and happy life. I was a heavy drug user from my early teens, from heroin to crack, and just about every painkiller.
I just wanted to let people know that there are a LOT of other people like me out there, leading happy, fulfilling lives on MMT. Unfortunately a lot of us are afraid to come forward and talk about it. No one at my job knows about my treatment, I keep it to myself because I am worried about being stigmatized or judged.
i agree with you and thx for posting. I used to take care of my teeth until I started using opiates and spent all my money on that and that only. So now that I am in the MMT program I am once again concerned about my teeth. I am having a root canal done on two of my back teeth and a cleaning and fluoride treatment. I know the damage to my teeth was starting before the MMT but I'm confident that if I go back to flossing and brushing twice a day as well as routine checkups I can slowly return my teeth to healthy again. Remember it's easier to pay 60 bucks for a cleaning and filling a cavity now and then than getting a whole mouth fixed. On any medicine that causes dry mouth make sure to drink lots of water and mouthwashes like biotene are out there to help also.
Hello, I was a long term user of methodone. I do have tooth decay, I do think it is the methadone and the drugs I abused before. When my teeth started decaying I started looking around and noticing I was the only one. I have sucessfully detoxed out of the methadone program at my local clinic. The person I was when I begin over five years ago, methdone did help aid me in turning my life around and no longer be dependent of drugs. I am thankful that I had a place to go to. Because when I begin I felt like I had no where to go, I felt doomed. My issue is now that I am clean and sober for 6 months now I still can not land a decent job. Employers do not take me seriously because of my teeth. I can not get a job that provides insurance to have them fixed and i surely can not afford to pay to have them fixed either. I am very thankful to be able to enjoy life again and take care of my children. But how I am going to land a job with teeth with horrible decay.
I do not blame the employer because as a employee you are the face of the company. But I nearly feel doomed again. I have went through jobs left and right because they were seasonal or temporary. So to answer your question directly, in my exxperience with methdone I do have severe tooth decay that is very painful. But on the other hand I am have part of my life back that I allowed the drugs to take. I just want to be able to be competley successful. I wish you good luck. I am definetly not a doctor, but I am a living example.
I was told by my doctor that the reason people sometimes suffer tooth decay isnt the methadone itself, but untreated side-effects such as dry mouth, which you can treat by simply carrying around water with you. At the clinic I go to there is a poster on the wall with "Methadone Myths & Facts" apparently tooth decay from meth is a 'Myth'.
Perhaps it's a "myth" to you and your doctor, but, based on the stories others have shared--and personal experience, it's a FACT for us! As for the water theory... I drank gallons of water prior to my accident and I never stopped so I think that's the "myth". Sorry if I sound harsh, but I'm offended by the flippant attitude--perception is reality and being so cavalier about such a serious issue is insulting to everyone affected by it.
Thank you for sharing that. But, I did drink a lot of water. Plus, bc I get dry mouthed so easily, I've gotten into the habit of keeping water with me at all times. So, unfortunately its a FACT. A fact I wished I'd known about years ago, so I could have better prepared myself.
I have been taking Methadone for about 6 years for severe chronic pain. Nothing else has provided any relief from constant nerve pain. I have never taken any kind of illegal drugs so you can't put the blame there. I have been going to the same dentist every 6 months for the past 17 years and have enjoyed almost perfect teeth all my life. That is until about 2 years ago when my teeth literally began rotting out of my mouth. In the last 6 months alone, the decay has progressed to the point that I have lost 4 teeth. I just saw my dentist last week and he was in shock. Even though I have tried everything to combat the decay, nothing has worked. I use Biotene toothpaste, mouth spray and gum, rinse with Listerine and drink water constantly, along with swishing and spitting. I now have to have ALL my teeth extracted, except for 4 front, upper teeth and eight front, lower teeth.
I am devastated! I read on another medical website that Methadone depletes the calcium in your teeth adding to the tooth decay. Also, Methadone continues to build up in your system and can take a long time to really cause a problem. I knew about the dry mouth (hence all the Biotene products), however most pain medication will cause dry mouth. I don't know if the depletion of calcium is true or not but, with this many people having problems with one medication, it seems like some studies need to be done. I sympathize with all of you having this problem. If anyone knows how I can save the rest of my teeth, please post.
For ppl who dont know there's not a lot of sugar if any in the liquid methadone, we just discussed this n group. You can smell and taste it and tell there's no sugar in it.
I have read several different posts on several different websites and it all comes down to this. I was in a 104 mph car accident as a rear passenger at 18 and it tore my shoulder and especially my spine to shreds. I took up to 30 hydrocodone 10 mlg. per day for 10 years and had perfect teeth. I only had 4 very tiny cavities from when I was a kid is all I had wrong even through and after the hydrocodone. I found my mother dead in her home when I was 28 at a complete surprise of course. Come to find out it was a combination of different types of pain medications that the same Dr. prescribed to her at different times was the cause of her death and I vowed to get off of hydrocodone. Thinking that I was taking the safe route I went to Methadone and after only 2 years of 80 mlgs. of liquid methadone I have lost all of my upper teeth along with the slow decay of my lower teeth now.
The methadone clinic refuses to admit that it has anything to do with the methadone at all and it is probably because the methadone makes me crave sweets. Funny thing is, I don't eat sweets, never really been the type of person to eat anything too sweet I have always liked more food like home cooked food. I also drink nothing but water and milk and brushed the teeth I used to have twice a day. I think that is a perfect example that the liquid methadone rots your teeth from the inside out, the first pieces of your teeth to chip away are the little slivers of tooth that are against your gums. Then your tooth is sensative to cold anything and you could easily pull the tooth out at this point if you really wanted to but it would just break off leaving the root stuck in your jaw. Sorry if this is too graffic but I just want to let other people know what happens and how it happened to me.
I have been on Methadone for severe migraine's for sometime. My teeth were absolutely beautiful. I have had more problems with my teeth since I have began this medication! I am so upset today, because just last evening yet another tooth broke off at the gum line. I'm ready to hire an attorney to fight this drug maker! Teeth are more an important than just providing someones smile & self esteem!! I am a professional in an industry in which, I had to call in sick today because of a missing tooth (yet another investment out of my pocket!). I don't want to go into how many teeth have broken, but obviously if I am making a post, you can bet, this isn't the first !! From what I've been reading this morning, I'm not the only one!!!
Very Very upset with Methadone Makers! Should have a warning, and get off the excuse "Methadone causes a dry mouth, which can relate to tooth decay" either way Methadone Maker, your drug is a CAUSE and as a user I should had been warned!!!
thanks for sharing your story.
is it the dry mouth Or is it because the m-done weakens the bone density?
I totally feel your pain. From having beautiful teeth and being complitmented decades for my smile. To now having my teeth decaying out my mouth. WTF!!! I wished we could sue. Why don't they have more dental care for adults? Its so sad. I feel very blessed to have my false teeth, but its nothing compaired to my real ones. I morned the loss of my teeth just like the loss of a loved one.
I have not been on methadone, but have been on Norco for the past 7 years after a horrific car accident. I had always had good teeth, but 3 years ago they started getting decay and chipping. I spent a great deal of money on root canals, etc. I finally ended up getting my back bottom teeth pulled and a partial put in. Then my front teeth just started falling out at the gum line. I was horrified and looked horrible. I could not go to work looking like that, and quit my job of 23 years. My husband has good insurance, but the dental part sucked as do most dental benefits. Long story short, I had all my teeth pulled last year and now wear dentures and I am only 50 yrs. old. I had the bottom ones fitted with implants so they do not come out when eating. But I hate them. There is nothing like your own teeth. My dentist said that this "rotting" was caused from dry mouth from the opiates. He said anyone who takes morphine, vicodin, methadone, etc. is at risk of losing their teeth.
Just another blow to us who suffer chronic pain and can't live without our meds. I get so mad at people who call us addicts or weak. I would give anything ot be able to live a normal life without medications. And I would give anything to have my real teeth back. I wish I had known about the tooth decay when I went on the meds so I could have taken some precautions. To those of you who still have your teeth. Keep hydrated, and use Biotene. Keep it in your purse or car and constantly keep your mouth moist. This may save your teeth. I wish I had known
i should say there is a difference in results between the biscuits and liquid methadone. People that take the liquid, like I do, have had more tooth decay.
SOme say it is because of the sugar that is in the flavoring. I think it has something to do with the way it is metabolized through the liver, like vitamin D, which helps bone strength.
Yes it does make your teeth fall out! i've been on it for 5 years and have lost 5 teeth and important ones. Some say its because people don't brush or take care of their teeth but i brush mine everyday. They still fell apart. But look on the bright side there dentures. I don;t think I could live without methadone.
Dentures??? that is like losing a leg and saying there is always a prosthesis.
If you believe the methadone caused your bone(teeth)s to lose density , then you are very nice to share your story.
I think there may not be scientific study, but If it is happening to real folks that is strong merit
A year after I started on Methadone for pain,my first tooth chipped. Then about 18 months later,they started falling out like dominoes. They got very soft and broke off at the gum line. I'm going to have to get dentures at least on the top. Probably on the bottom eventually. I used to have such beautiful teeth. But at least I have medicaid which should defray some of the cost. I had always heard about methadone and teeth,and bone problems,but I can't find a medical professional to say that it does,except for me. I'm a retired nurse. But bad gum disease with resultant tooth loss runs in my family. So which caused the problem,my genes or the methadone.
"Documented proof" may not exist but I found out the hard way that it is true. I was placed on Methadose after a spinal cord injury and about two years after I started taking it, my teeth started to crumble--I told my doc it was like having "a mouth-full of chalk". I thought I was alone--none of my doctors had mentioned that was a possible side-effect of the medications (I also have an implanted morphine/dilaudid pump). I can't begin to express my embarrassment when a woman at a restaurant pointed at me and said to her companions "Look at that "meth-head" over there... disgusting".
I was devastated and now that most of my teeth are missing or horribly decayed, I have become a recluse as I save money to pay for dentures--If I go out to eat, it's via drive-thru window and I go to the market at 2am to avoid being seen or having to speak! I wish there was a way to get my insurance to pay for dentures since the medication that caused me to need them is prescribed because of an injury but that ain't likely! I've been trying to find low-cost dentures and have found that their advertised fees are no where near the amount they actually charge. (Talk about "false advertising"! It's awful!)
I cant give you any statistics but i an tell you from first hand experiene it does severley, I have had to have a lot of dental work due to methodone, i know a lot of people that are on methodone an they have rotted teeth I heard a dr. one say that he refers to that as methadone mouth,hope it helps i know its not very scientific
it is NOT called "methadone mouth"
you are confused with "meth mouth" which refers to the addicts that smoke
speed or methanpetamine
I think you guys are mixing up methadone and methamphetamines... it's "meth mouth" that you are talking about and people are referring to methamphetamines (crank)
I have been on many narcotics since the age of 12, now 55. Definitely agree that all narcotics are bad for your teeth, but especially Methadone. Dry mouth is the biggest offender. Try to drink water copiously to help this. Also, found that biotene works wonderfully. Check with your own state medical assistance program if you are eligible as they paid for all my dental work related to fixing my teeth and my dentures.
Wishing you the best of luck!
I've been on methadone for 13 years, 130mg, and have had dentures for the last 12. Thank God for good insurance! Anyway, having lived in the illicit drug culture for the last 2/3 of my life (since Vietnam) I have found that people that use the liqud Methadone DO have bad teeth and those that use the disketts don't have real bad teeth. I think the liqud methadone has alot of sugar in it and when it is consumed orally, naturally it goes across your teeth like soda pop or anything else that has about 80% sugar and rots your teeth. I don't know if this helped or not... if it did, cool... if not, oh well!
I'm not much of a speller, so bear with me, OK?
I have been on the Methadone program for 5 years. When I started I had decent teeth that had been well looked after. The first year was ok but my dentist did tell me my mouth was very dry and to get a special toothpaste which I did. Over the next 4 years I had to have constant dental work done the cavities seemed like they appeared over night. I woould get a tooth fixed and 3 months later it would start aching and have to be pulled. My dentist told me this was from the dry mouth that methadone caused.
This past year my teeth would come out on there on. They just got loose and came out.
Two weeks ago I had 12 teeth pulled, 6 roots taken out and dentures put in I feel lucky I can smile again. The specialist said after a dose you should rinse out your mouth to clear some of the methadone.
Hope this helps
Just one more reason to stop taking this horrible drug.
Actually Chris, it's this "horrible drug" that has more than likely prevented me from killing myself. I don't know anything about you, but I would wager that you do not suffer from chronic pain. I broke my back in 2 places 12 years ago in a freak accident, and the resulting nerve damage has caused pain in both feet and ankles. This pain NEVER GOES AWAY and drives you crazy. I tried Neurontin, it made me hallucinate. Oxycontin played havoc with my moods, acupuncture was a waste of time .I would consider it to be a very good drug. It's very inexpensive and can be taken for long periods of time. Once you're used to it, you quit falling asleep every time you shut your eyes and you are able to function normally. Without it, I would NEVER be able to sleep, I would be so unpleasant to be around I would have no friends, and if not dead from suicide, probably in a mental ward.
I only wish someone had taken 2 seconds to tell me about the problem it causes teeth.
And to the dental assistant. Methadone is not Crystal Methamphetamine. Entirely different animal, although the effects to the teeth are apparently similar, but probably much more so with crystal than with methadone.
And not everyone is taking methadone because they are kicking heroin, although that is the conclusion that everyone immediately jumps to which is very annoying. They don't give heroin addicts their entire months supply at once, trusting them to take it as prescribed. Methadone clinics are basically "liquid handcuffs" and their main focus seems to be making money, not helping addicts recover. But now I'm rambling...
For Trish Ann, I read your comment and I do sympathize with your situation. I have had eight spinal surgeries and a total of 27 surgeries altogether. Medicaid may pay for pulling your teeth, if they are badly decayed but beware they will not pay for the dentures and Medicare will not pay for dentures either. I'm sorry. That's pretty crappy but look around for clinics that will give you a set of teeth for $250 and you might try checking our the dental schools. As for the weight, start out with taking just a walk every day and graduate to other physical exercises that will help with your weight. As for food, try just eating three meals a day, eating pretty much what you want (reasonably) but cut the portion down to small portions. No cheating and no snacking after dinner, Drink lots of water. It will help fill you up and will also flush out your system. Don't forget to have faith and pray. Prayer is good for all of us.
Keep trying with the dental schools and don't give up. Also, it is possible that a church might offer some type of financial aid for you in your situation. Good luck and there are people out here who care about you. As for the methadone, I think it is great. It is not perfect but it has been the best drug I have ever been prescribed. However, getting off it is probably next to impossible. I tried to and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I hope they never stop making it. I don't know what I would do.
I also had never had any teeth problems out of the ordinary until I started on methadone within two years they all rotted out at the gumline.Lets fsce it ,if you want to drop someones I.Q. 50% just black out one of their teeth. I'm patying for the tasteless jokes made in my youth about toothless people I also empathise with those taking this drug for long term pain treatment. It's no secret that we are dconfused with heroin addicts.after much research I found that this is really the best longtearm treatment out there if you don't abuse it.
If you like me must have them pulled and go to dentures,a few bits of advice.My insurance although Blue Cross only had $1000 per year cap, so try to start this process at the end of the year so that the new year comes into play soon,instead of me who started in January, Had 90% of my teeth pulled and then spent a year eating soup.Also don,t wait until they break off because then it becomes oral surgery, much more cost and I think you will lose them anyway.
If you can save a few good ones that can be repaired without highcost root canals and caps. go for a Cue Sil which uses the remaining theeth to anchor your dentures,next best thing to posts which cost upwards of $1000 dollars ea. and aren't covered by insurance. Finally shop around for the pulling part,I paid close to 3 grand for my lowers and less than 500 for uppers. not a bit of difference in quality of workmanship or the dentures themselves. If only someone had told me these things before I had to face this nightmare. Sounds like there IS a founded reason for a class action suit.I asked my doctor at the time this rapid change started and he had no idea that methadone pills could cause this.
Not until I got on this sight did I have any idea that this might be the cause of my rapid dental decline.And, I have also had professional dental people refer to my problem as" Meth Mouth " which we laymen all know that's a complet
ly different animal.
Thank you all for your input, and Maybe we all can convince someone to start a class action to pay for this terrible side effect. One more thing for those without insurance, there are some dentists that have a free day everyonce in a while and most Denture companies are more than willing to work with you on payment. Most insurance Co.s only pay 50% for dentures and crowns.
Hope some of my bad experiences can be avoided, and anyone making this transition will be as easy as it possibly can!
Plex, I am w/you, this is the only thing that works and has continued to work and it may be considered "horrible" by some people, but try finding $150 a day to get your heroin so you don't want to die and then tell us how "horrible" it is. I dont' take it for addiction, but I certainly know about it and for many people, it is a Godsend, heroin wrecks your teeth too and add abcesses, MRSA, skin eating diseases and the things people have to lower themselves to do in order to get their dose of heroin and you will realize that Methadone has saved many lives, most would gladly trade their teeth for getting off of heroin, believe me.
Hello, I too am a 5 year patient of a methadone program too. I too had perfect teeth when I begin, now they are crumbling to pieces too. I have had to have several pulled. I no longer have dental insurance because my husband recently lost his job. So I now have to suffer with this because we can not afford to pay for the costs, solely. I am unable to gain employment other than min wage jobs and seasonal work. I know alot of employers look at my mouth and do not want to hire me. I don't blame them. I too haven't been able to smile in ages, I am afraid to visit friends becaue of embarrassment. Most importantly, I don't want to embarass my children. I have successful completed and left the program six months ago. I am still clean and sober, but it is not easy with severe tooth pain. I am glad your misery came to an end and I hope one day mine will too.
I think Chris is talking about addicts not people who have serious pain issues it is completely understandable using meds to alleviate pain.
Since I have been on methadone, my teeth are literally crumbling, decaying and falling out. At first I blamed it on other meds for R.A., but recently I did read that methadone causes tooth decay. I believe it now.
..after using this drug heavily for five years,I would have to say no,I experianced no tooth decay.
one of the side effects of meth is dry mouth. Decreased amounts of saliva causes people to be more prone to decay, therefore causing alot of dental issues. There are actually some types of special toothpastes and mouth washes developed for people with this problem. One is an all natural brand called "Toms" which is pretty easy to find at walgreens or other pharmacy stores, another brand is "biotene" which has a specially developed oral balance dry mouth collection of products that are very successful. They have a website it's www.biotene.com as well as a phone# 1-800-922-5856. So I would deffinately check it out! And the next time you're at the dentist ask if they have M I paste that they can use on your teeth- that stuff is great too but it's for professional use only. And don't worry I know what I am talking about! I am a dental assistant & I've been one for a while now! Dry mouth is a big issue for me as well, so most importantly I speak from expieriance! good luck...
One thing I did do while using was to drink copious amounts of water..
methadose, methadone, side effect
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