The New York Times presents information on a dental disease epidemic ravaging the heartland.
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.