Public, legislators encouraged to learn more about methamphetamine

Dec. 1, 2006
Academy of General Dentistry declared Nov. 30 as National Meth Awareness Day.

CHICAGO--The Academy of General Dentistry welcomes the increased attention being paid to the devastating health impacts of methamphetamine dependence, especially on oral health.

"By declaring November 30 as National Meth Awareness Day, we can increase the awareness of the meth epidemic and spread the word about how devastating this drug can be," said Bruce DeGinder, DDS, MAGD, AGD president.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA-3) were instrumental in having the Department of Justice declare November 30 as "National Meth Awareness Day." Both lawmakers had introduced resolutions that were passed by both chambers calling for an increased awareness of this epidemic.

"We are very grateful to these two legislators for leading this effort," said Janet Kopenhaver, AGD's Washington Lobbyist. "We look forward to working with both of them during the 110th Congress on fighting this terrible epidemic."

According to a recent report that will appear in the November-December 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD's clinical, peer-reviewed journal, methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that produces prolonged euphoria and is relatively easy to make, inexpensive to purchase and distribute.

Its use is on the rise, and can have serious adverse effects on one's oral health, including highly visible widespread cavities and rampant decay.

AGD continues to advise general dentists nationwide to learn about this severe oral health effects this drug is having and to learn how to help patients.

"As primary health care providers, general dentists will do everything we can to help fight this epidemic, including working with Congress on enactment of any legislation that will educate dentists, patients, researchers, and other health care providers on the extreme adverse health condition of 'meth mouth'" said Dr. DeGinder. "The AGD also pledges to work to educate Members of Congress on this devastating health care plight."

In addition, the public can learn more about this condition by visiting