Caries Presentation in Illict Drug Users and Excessive Soft Drink Consumers.
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Advanced cervical caries in anterior teeth is common to two different patient behaviors. Rampant cervical caries (“meth mouth”) is a common presentation in drug users. Extensive consumption of soft drinks also presents a similar pattern of cervical caries. Two cases are presented and dental treatment considerations are discussed. Case One: excessive soft drink consumption. A young male presented to IUSD for evaluation and treatment of a painful #9. Clinical exam: #9 had extensive facial and cervical caries with a pulp exposure. Cervical caries on teeth #6, 7,8,10,11,12,13. Patient’s history revealed frequent daily consumption of multiple sweet soft drinks. #9 had become increasingly painful and that caused him to seek treatment. Pulpal and Percussion/Palpation testing and radiographic exam of #9 were conducted. Diagnosis: #9 Pulpal Necrosis with Symptomatic Apical Periodontitis. Treatment: Oral hygiene instruction to reduce the frequency of soft drink consumption. #9 was endodontically treated and restored. Caries in #6, 7,8,10,11,12,13 were treated and teeth restored. Case Two: cocaine abuse. A young female presented to IUSD for evaluation and treatment of a painful #9. Clinical exam: #9 had extensive cervical caries. Cervical caries on #7, 8, 9 and dental attrition. Patient reports having used cocaine for many years. Pulpal and Percussion/Palpation testing and radiographic exam of #9 were conducted. Diagnosis: #9 Pulpal Necrosis with Symptomatic Apical Periodontitis. Treatment considerations: Local anesthesia was achieved without the use of epinephrine due to possible occasional unreported use of cocaine. #9 was endodontically treated and restored. Patient did not return for continued treatment at IUSD. Conclusion: Cervical caries in anterior teeth associated with soft drinks demonstrate similar characteristics to those observed in patients with reported cocaine abuse. This should alert dental providers dentists to be aware of both illicit drug use and soft drink intake as part of the patient’s medical, dental, and social history information.