Web Zap*Germs Archive

June 13, 2005

"Meth Mouth:" Dental Horror Story

Want your teeth to fall out really, really fast? Become a meth freak! Dentists are seeing patients with teeth decayed to little stumps, from methamphetamine addiction.

Small clip from the NYT article:
The drug itself, a synthetic stimulant that can be manufactured just about anywhere, causes dry mouth, Dr. Shaner said, and that in turn allows decay to start, since saliva is unavailable to help control bacteria in the mouth. The drug also tends to leave users thirsty and craving a constant supply of soda pop and other sugary drinks, which spur the decay; Mountain Dew, he said, has become the preferred drink of methamphetamine users. At the same time, the drug's highly addictive nature causes many users simply to stop doing what is needed to take care of themselves, including the brushing of teeth.

Question: given that Mountain Dew is well-known as a legal "upper," can this revelation do any damage at all to PepsiCo's reputation? Are its Mountain Dew execs worried when they read that speed freaks prefer the "high-intensity" Dew, or are they high-fiving their success at reaching the ultimate consumer market for cavities-in-a-can?


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