I need some advice. My mom is a meth addict. I came to check on her the other day and when I went to wake her up one of her teeth just fell out! What’s going on? Is it the meth? What does she need aside from rehab? She’s only 55 years old and needs her teeth.
It is so great how you are trying to help your mother. I’m sorry you have to carry such a difficult burden, especially at your age. You’re having to be the parent instead of the other way around. Your mother is likely suffering from severe gum disease as well as what is known as meth mouth.
What your mother needs is a major intervention in her dental care. Without immediate treatment for her gum disease, her teeth will continue to fall out. As a meth addict, she likely has a great deal of decay in her mouth as well. Truthfully, though, as long as she is doing meth, she will continue to degrade. I’m sure you know this. The drugs keep her from taking care of herself.
If you can get her in rehab, you have a greater chance of getting her mental, physical, and dental health in order. Once that happens, it will be time to replace her teeth. At her age, dental implants will be the better option.
Dental Implants versus Dentures
Some dentists will try to convince you she is not worth the effort and to just extract her teeth and give her dentures. I don’t agree with this. When her teeth are removed, her body recognizes this and begins to resorb the minerals in her jawbone. This causes the jawbone to shrink. Eventually, she’ll lose so much, there won’t be enough bone left to even support her denture. This is known as facial collapse. Using dental implants, signals to your body those teeth roots are still there and will preserve your jawbone.
Tooth Replacements During Advanced Gum Disease
While her gum disease is this advanced, she won’t be a good candidate for dental implants. Because of that, she’ll need a good temporary replacement option. I’m going to recommend a cu-sil partial (pictured left). This will leave holes for her “healthyish” teeth while giving her something to chew with. If one of those teeth fall out in the meantime, it’s quite easy to pop in another false tooth. Then, when her gums are healthy you can start permanently replacing those teeth.
This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.