Does Methadone Treatment Rot Teeth?
Though methadone has been used for years to treat opioid addiction and help many people stop abusing dangerous narcotics like heroin and prescription drugs, there are a number of myths that still exist about the practice and make people wary to begin it.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Maintenance treatments save lives” and create stronger, better recoveries for addicts.
It is absolutely important to get all the facts about methadone before starting treatment and to understand there are many myths about the program that simply are not true. If you would like to learn more about maintenance programs or ask specific questions about the medication itself, call us at 800-530-0431Who Answers? today.
Methadone and Tooth Decay: Is It Real?
Tooth decay or rot is not one of the methadone side effects listed by the National Library of Medicine. Though the drug does have a number of effects that one will likely experience when being treated it, these are usually harmless and, at the most, can be treated with other medications or in different ways when brought up to your doctor.
However, methadone does cause dry mouth, which is likely where this myth comes from.
While dry mouth is not inherently a problematic side effect of any drug––and while any narcotic, illegal or prescribed, will usually cause this to occur––it can make you more likely to produce plaque. This can be problematic but only if you do not take care of your teeth with normal brushing, seeing the dentist twice a year for a cleaning, and using mouthwash. Many people carry water with them as well while on methadone to avoid any issues associated with dry mouth.
It is important to note that no more than the regular routine of tooth care is needed to avoid any issues that could possibly be associated with this medication and one’s teeth.
Is Methadone a Safe Treatment?
Yes. It is absolutely safe to take methadone for months and even years as a treatment program for opioid addiction. Those who do often experience a number of beneficial effects, including increased mental and physical health, finding jobs and places to live more easily, and fewer side effects associated with ending their substance abuse. And according to the NIDA, “Long-term methadone maintenance treatment at doses of 80 to 120 mg per day is not toxic or dangerous to any organ system after continuous treatment for 10 to 14 years.”
There are still many detractors of methadone who believe the treatment to merely be a substitute for addiction, which it is not. This is the reason why so many rumors about the drug exist and why it is important to gain all the facts before deciding on a treatment plan. Methadone is an incredibly safe drug that does not rot teeth or cause harm to any system in the body when taken over a long period of time.
By taking care of your body just as you normally would and taking your prescribed methadone dose daily, you will experience beneficial effects and begin a safer, stronger recovery.