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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: OHPD

 

Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Prof. Dr. Jean-François Roulet, Prof. Dr. Dr. Niklaus P. Lang, Prof. Dr. Palle Holmstrup

Official journal of the Academy of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, the World Congress of Microdentistry, and the European Society of Preventive Dentistry

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996

Publication:

Fall 2005
Volume 3 , Issue 3



Pages: 189-195
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Etiology of Xerostomia and Dental Caries among Methamphetamine Abusers

Saini, Tarnjit S./Edwards, Paul C./Kimmes, Nicole S./Carroll, Lucinda R./Shaner, John W./Dowd, Frank J.

This study reviews the peripheral effects of methamphetamine on the salivary acini, the pathogenesis of methamphetamine-induced xerostomia, and its anecdotal relationship to dental caries. Methamphetamine is a sympathomimetic central stimulant which is abused for its euphoric effects. Its pharmacological action is exerted indirectly by sustaining high levels of catecholamines in the synaptic cleft and directly by binding to the postsynaptic adrenergic receptors. Methamphetamine abusers report subjective perception of xerostomia, which cannot be explained by the direct peripheral action of methamphetamine on the secretory acini. The drug may cause a decrease in salivary flow rate by centrally inhibiting salivatory nuclei via stimulation of alpha-2 receptors in the brain. Drug mediated dehydration state may influence the perception of dry mouth in abusers. The decreased salivary flow rate, either due to a central inhibitory action of methamphetamine or generalised dehydration, likely contributes to the increased occurrence of dental caries. Five cases of methamphetamine abuse are presented, three of whom experienced rampant dental caries. A direct association between methamphetamine abuse and the occurrence of rampant caries was not clear.

Keywords: methamphetamine, xerostomia, dental caries, sympathetic, meth

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