Methadone And Problems With Teeth

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Kim Says:

I have been on methadone for 7 years now. Up until I started taking it I had perfect teeth, never even a cavity, and rarely went to the dentist. Now for the past 4 years my teeth have started breaking, getting cavities at the gum line, and severe tooth aches. My dentist seems to think I have an eating disorder and that is why my teeth are the way they are. Any one else have this problem with methadone?

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Verwon Says:

This can actually happen with many medications, especially narcotics. Many people who use them for pain management, for long periods of time, end up with severe dental problems and many lose all their teeth.

I still have a lot of work that needs done from the years I spent on pain management.

There are two ways that narcotics cause these types of problems. The first is due to the fact that they cause dry mouth, this allows bacteria to sit on your teeth longer, rather than being washed away by your saliva, as it normally would.

And the second is due to the fact that, over time, they tend to leech vital minerals from the body, such as calcium, which is vital to the strength and health of your teeth and bones.


It happens much fast to drug addicts, you can do a search on Google for pictures and can see many that show the severe damage they suffer to their teeth.

Are there any other questions or comments?

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BabyG Says:

I've been on 80mls of methadone for 12yrs now and my teeth are ruined. It doesn't really matter if you get the sugar free liquid stuff either as that has an acid in it that the normal stuff doesn't so they both ruin your teeth anyway. I am a 34yr old female, i have 5 teeth up top and 5 on the bottom. I really do feel disgusting.

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Elizabeth Says:
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Hello. I'm a 37 year old female and have been on Methodone also for severe condition, and pain management. I have been taking it for four years. I had beautiful teeth before I started taking it and now I don't smilie or cover my mouth any time my teeth may show. I feel the same way. There's nothing more horrific then going to sleep at night and waking up to spitting out chips of your teeth! A lot of mine have broken and I never knew it when it happened. I was hurt at my job and am on state dental insurance which only covers pulling of my teeth. I wish there were dentists and oral surgeons who would take some chromic pain patients like us on as a pro-bono charity to help us save the teeth we can or replace what we have to get rid of. My heart goes out to everyone in my shoes and a note of advice for anyone deciding on this treatment for their future. Talk to your dentist! If you don't have one, get one. Set up proactive appointments to keep your teeth. It's nice to not hurt so bad but, when you want to smile you can't cause you feel like you look so bad!!

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rowan Says:
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What you are experiencing is actually the effects of a condition called Opiate Induced Endocrinopathy. I have the same problem -my teeth are breaking and rotting, I have also put on a lot weight. I recently discovered that my symptoms had nothing to do with the direct effects of methadone - but what happens is that methadone disrupts hormone production by suppressing the endocrine system.
In men, this results in low testosterone.

One of the primary symptoms of androgen deficiency and low testosterone is an extremel decrease in bone density. You will probably find that your bones are also brittle and break easily. I was referred to a an endocrinologist who told me about Opiate induced Endocrinopathy- apparently it is a very well known fact but for some reason not many people other than specialists seem to know about it. Anyhow, I am now taking testosterone replacement therapy as well as calcium, magnesium and zinc supplements and in the first month the improvements in quality of life have been amazing. Go see an endocrinologist, get your hormones checked and do the necessary before you lose all your teeth.

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Becky Says:
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I've also been on methadone for going on seven yrs and I also have lost all my teeth in those seven years. It's awful!

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