Local Experts Discuss Meth Mouth, Growing Meth Problem

Health professionals met Friday to discuss the growing methamphetamine problem in Eastern Carolina, as well as diseases that come along with the addiction.

East Carolina University professors organized the Meth Mouth Conference, which brought together doctors, dentists, and healthcare professionals.

Experts raised concerns about a condition known as meth mouth. Local dentists say they see meth mouth in their offices every week, and that the age of the patients with symptoms are younger than ever.

Conference organizers said their goal was to create connections, so professionals can learn how to better treat patients with the disease.

According to conference experts, the average age of a new meth user is 19 years old.

Symptoms associated with meth mouth include cavities, dry mouth, grinding of the teeth, and an overall infection.

Dentists say initial symptoms are often associated with an addiction to soft drinks, because meth users crave the citric acid in soda. A full mouth restoration of a meth user can be as much as $60,000.