Meth destroying teeth of prisoners, causing dental budget to soar

By  | 

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Methamphetamine use can turn a healthy set of
teeth into a rotting mess.

And its widespread use is causing a surge in the dental budget
of Nevada's prison system.

Nevada's prison population has increased 19 percent to
12-thousand five-hundred over the last four years.

But over the same time, the dental budget has surged 62 percent
to over two (M) million dollars.

Methamphetamine inhibits saliva production, exposing teeth to
bacteria that cause cavities.

Addicts drink sugared sodas to treat their dry mouths, which
adds to the problem.

Governor Jim Gibbons has called the fight against
methamphetamine addiction, quote, "the colossal struggle of our

The funding he has proposed goes largely to law enforcement and
rehabilitation programs.

None of the money he has proposed toward fighting the drug is
slated to go toward treating so-called meth mouth in inmates.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)