Patterns of tooth wear associated with methamphetamine use

J Periodontol. 2000 Aug;71(8):1371-4. doi: 10.1902/jop.2000.71.8.1371.


Background: Methamphetamine (MAP) abuse is a significant worldwide problem. This prospective study was conducted to determine if MAP users had distinct patterns of tooth wear.

Methods: Methamphetamine users were identified and interviewed about their duration and preferred route of MAP use. Study participants were interviewed in the emergency department of a large urban university hospital serving a geographic area with a high rate of illicit MAP production and consumption. Tooth wear was documented for each study participant and scored using a previously validated index and demographic information was obtained using a questionnaire.

Results: Forty-three MAP patients were interviewed. Preferred route of administration was injection (37%) followed by snorting (33%). Patients who preferentially snorted MAP had significantly higher tooth wear in the anterior maxillary teeth than patients who injected, smoked, or ingested MAP (P = 0.005).

Conclusion: Patients who use MAP have distinct patterns of wear based on route of administration. This difference may be explained anatomically.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • California
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants* / administration & dosage
  • Cuspid / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Incisor / pathology
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Maxilla
  • Methamphetamine* / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth Abrasion / etiology*
  • Tooth Attrition / etiology*
  • Tooth Erosion / etiology*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Methamphetamine