Cannabis, methamphetamine and oral health

Using cannabis or methamphetamine can cause problems in your mouth. Cannabis can increase your risk of developing gum disease, and methamphetamine can lead to tooth decay.

'Meth mouth'

Meth mouth is a condition seen in the mouths of some users of methamphetamine. 

This illegal drug causes severe tooth decay to the extent that some teeth are heavily stained, and damaged badly. Often these damaged teeth have to be removed because they cannot be fixed. 

There are various reasons for the cause of meth mouth, including:

  • poor oral hygiene among users of oral methamphetamine
  • the acidity of the drug 
  • drug-induced dry mouth 
  • cravings for fizzy or sugary drinks
  • a tendency of meth users to clench or grind their teeth. 

Support services

If you would like free, confidential advice and support to get help for yourself or someone you know, contact the Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797

Related websites

New Zealand Dental Association

User friendly advice on oral health from the New Zealand Dental Association.


Information about the possible effects of cannabis on health, including when cannabis is used with other drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

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