Substance Use

Substance use and abuse is a growing concern among adolescents.

  • Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use can all lead to oral health problems, including chronic inflammation, xerostomia, gingivitis, and increased risk of future cancer.
  • "Meth Mouth" is rampant tooth decay and gum disease triggered by methamphetamine use.
  • Aggressive intervention and collaboration with addiction health care specialists can help to treat substance abuse and future oral and overall health problems.

"Meth Mouth"

James Cecil, DMD, MPH

For additional information on oral effects of substance use and abuse, see Smiles for Life Adult Oral Health Module.


Rawal SY, Tatakis DN, Tipton D. Periodontal and oral manifestations of marijuana use. Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association. 2012; 92(2): 26.