Does Methadone Rot Your Teeth?

Does Methadone Rot Your Teeth

Does Methadone Rot Your Teeth?

Getting Methadone Alternatives and Effective Treatment at Icarus

After suffering from opioid addiction for many years, I finally decided to get clean following a stint in jail. The only way I was able to get through the first phase of recovery was to begin methadone treatment. Methadone is commonly prescribed to help treat opioid addiction. Many addicts like myself have been helped through methadone maintenance treatment. But it can also be risky and cause dependence that is hard to break, plus bring up some negative health effects.

This is probably why so many people ask, “Does methadone rot your teeth?”

In my case, it certainly did. But there is not a direct correlation, it is more due to chronic dry mouth. In my case, the abuse of methadone and other substances also played a big part. Methadone is a drug, so there is always a risk for abuse. I found myself basically switching from street opiates to methadone, and I began to obtain it illegally so that I could use more of it beyond what I was given at the methadone clinic, and then add whatever benzos and other drugs I could find.

Before I knew it, I was once again suffering from all the telltale signs of drug dependence. Luckily for me, Icarus in New Mexico gave me the opportunity to get entirely clean. If you want to learn how Icarus can help give you your life back, read on to find out more about my story and hear it firsthand from someone who had just about given up hope but found a way to being clean!

The Benefits and Drawbacks Of Methadone

Benefits and Drawbacks Of Methadone

For a lot of people, methadone can help you control withdrawal symptoms while also giving you the space to work through your addiction. But for an equal amount of people, being on methadone comes with issues that can be unpleasant. And that’s not even counting when you try and come off it!

Methadone treatment has various side effects, with dental health issues being one of them. There are many methadone myths out there, and depending on who you ask, they will tell you various things about how methadone affects your body.

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Does Methadone Rot Your Teeth: What are the Effects on Oral Health?

Unfortunately, a couple of the myths that turned out to be true in my case were tooth decay and gum disease. Prolonged use of methadone can damage your teeth and severely affect your gums. While it is helpful to treat opioid addiction, one of the more well-known side effects is dry mouth. When people say ‘methadone rots your teeth,’ this is most likely what they are talking about.

The extremely dry mouth caused by the drug, along with lack of regular maintenance both at home and at a dental office, lead many people who are taking methadone to have this issue with rotting teeth.

Methadone treatment is a slippery slope. For some, it is a lifesaver and helps them get clean. For people like me, it’s just switching addictions. Keep reading to learn more about how you can kick methadone once and for all.

Methadone Maintenance Treatment in My Life

Methadone Maintenance Treatment

My heroin addiction led me to methadone treatment. I was sick and tired of trying to score on the streets and wanted to have at least some stability like the people I saw on the bus headed to the clinic each day.

The withdrawal symptoms from heroin and other opiates are severe, and drugs like methadone and suboxone are there to help lessen these symptoms. One methadone dose is enough to keep you from feeling these symptoms at their worst. I still felt some withdrawal in the beginning, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

I was doing well with methadone at first, but it didn’t take long for me to begin to seek out the high beyond my dose. Plus I was always tired from my dose, and I wanted a little “up” to combat that exhausted feeling. Standard methadone treatment involves giving you a specific dose to combat withdrawal symptoms and not get high. The goal, at least the goal for most people, is to eventually get off of it completely. For me, it was just part of the chemical cocktail I fed myself each day.

Even knowing this it can take months or even years of treatment before people are tapered off. In my case, I never made it that far.

When Methadone Use Isn’t Enough

Taking methadone can be tricky. Being new to recovery, and having never tried to get sober, I still wanted to get high. I did well the first few weeks of treatment, but I soon started to get back into my old habits. I didn’t want to deal with all the issues I had to deal with. I still wanted to get high more than I wanted to get clean.

As I was given less and less of a dose, I started to seek out methadone on the street. I was able to trick myself into thinking I was still doing good in my recovery because I didn’t go back to heroin. In my mind, as long as I was on methadone, I was making progress. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

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Abusing Methadone and the Fall Out with My Family

A few side effects of methadone include water retention, weight gain, and impotency. It was easy for me to fool people into thinking I was clean when I was abusing methadone because I started gaining a considerable amount of weight. I wasn’t the skinny, sickly-looking addict that they were familiar with. That you gain weight is another one of the side effects of methadone that a lot of people don’t understand or know about.

Much like any other drug addiction, mood swings are a big side effect of methadone use. It was hard for me to control my temper on methadone. Any time I was even slightly challenged on my sobriety, I would become hostile and angry. This is usually a dead giveaway that someone is still struggling.

People who are doing well in recovery are often the first ones to talk openly about their issues with drugs. I didn’t want to talk about that stuff at all.

Getting Help for Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms

Getting Help for Methadone Withdrawal

My family members discovered that I was using methadone and other drugs to keep getting high, and helped me get into recovery through Icarus in New Mexico. The side effects of my methadone abuse were obvious. I consistently suffered from toothaches and in the end, I needed multiple crowns and a whole bridge implant to get my mouth back into healthy shape.

As I mentioned already, having a chronic dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and other oral problems. Needless to say, my teeth were in rough shape by the time I arrived at Icarus.

When I first got to detox, the withdrawal was just as uncomfortable as heroin withdrawal. I suffered from anxiety and restlessness that persisted even after I got out of detox. A week or so into treatment, my saliva production was back to normal, but the damage to my mouth was done.

It was clear that I would need a good amount of dental help, and alongside aftercare and relapse prevention planning, the staff at Icarus were kind enough to help me begin this process.

After Methadone Treatment: Getting My Smile Back

Staying clean and letting the methadone stay out of my system was hard for me after my stay at Icarus. To make sure I was on the right path, I attended group therapy almost daily. I started exercising regularly and scheduling follow-up dentist appointments to fix my mouth. Over time, I have gotten a full smile back and am no longer afraid to open my mouth wide and show my pearly whites in public!

As I learned at Icarus, the pieces started falling into place the more I focused on my recovery. The more you put in, the more you get out of it.

Once I started noting the results, it made me determined to stay the course. I’ve met a lot of people through group therapy who are on the methadone plan, and I try to warn them as much as I can about the potential downfalls and the available methadone alternatives that helped me get totally off opioids. At the same time, anybody who is doing something to try to get better is positive in my book.

Lasting Recovery from Methadone Is Possible

Lasting Recovery from Methadone

I don’t want to scare anyone or be all doom and gloom, I just know that some people need to hear that methadone is not all fun and games. I wish I could have been better warned when I began on the methadone plan that it is the hardest form of medication-assisted treatment to quit, but I probably still would have ended up abusing it. Although addiction is a personal battle, it requires a lot of outside help.

I am lucky to have the support of so many great people, and I try to give that support back whenever possible. I have plenty of times where I struggle. There have been a few close calls, and I’ve almost relapsed multiple times. I’ve managed to avoid this because I have good people in my corner, and a better head on my shoulders now that I have given myself to recovery.

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Reach Out to Icarus Today for Support to Get Off Methadone

Icarus in New Mexico was in my corner from day one and is hugely responsible for where I am today. I would strongly recommend them to anybody going through any active addiction. For me, the use of methadone became a real problem, and one I did not see a clear path out of.

I will always be grateful for the recovery tools shown to me by the staff at Icarus, and how they even went out of their way to help me with regaining my smile. Choosing their inpatient program made a huge difference for me, and if you or someone you care about is struggling to get off methadone, give them a call and get options for support today!

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