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Dealing with Methadone Tooth Decay. Does Suboxone Also Cause Tooth Decay?

Keep Those Pearly Whites!

Does methadone cause tooth decay or tooth pain? Does Suboxone cause the same types of dental problems?

Methadone is a very effective medication for the treatment of opiate addiction. There are a number of harmful myths surrounding the use of methadone, but people who claim that methadone has had an adverse effect on their dental health are probably telling the truth. Methadone can be harmful to your teeth, and can cause tooth decay – but probably not more than any other opiate!

Methadone and Tooth Decay

All opiates cause a reduction in mouth saliva (dry mouth) and this continual reduction in anti bacterial saliva can lead to an increase in plaque and dental bacteria, and exacerbate the harms of sugar in the diet.

So yes, methadone can lead to tooth decay (but it doesn't have to…see below) but avoiding methadone out of a fear of tooth decay makes little sense if it means that you stay on the opiate you are abusing – because it also causes a reduction in saliva and tooth decay!

Suboxone and Tooth Decay

Suboxone (a partial type of opiate) does not cause any significant reduction in saliva and is not associated with tooth decay. Suboxone is not right for everyone, and if you are on a high daily dose of opiates, you may not get the withdrawal symptoms relief you need from Suboxone (buprenorphine) talk to your doctor about whether Suboxone will work for you.

How to Avoid Tooth Decay While on Methadone

Methadone increases the risks of tooth decay by drying out the mouth. You can avoid methadone tooth decay by taking some preventative steps – steps that are just plain old fashioned good oral hygiene.

  • Chew sugar free gum! This is probably the best way to counteract the mouth drying effects of methadone. Methadone dries out the mouth – the act of chewing gum stimulates saliva production and nullifies the effects of the methadone!
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after eating, especially after eating sugary foods!
  • Floss twice a day
  • Brush 3 or 4times per day
  • Use antiseptic mouthwashes 2-3 times per day (Listerine)
  • Go the dentist for regular cleanings.

Nothing you haven’t heard before – but all easy to take steps that will eliminate the problems of methadone tooth decay.


Methadone does case an increased risk of dental problems, but since these problems are so easily overcome (And since drugs like heroin or other pain pills will also cause tooth decay) a fear of dental problems is no reason to avoid methadone.

Suboxone is not known to cause dental problems, and is a good substitute for methadone for some people. Suboxone will not work for everyone.


lisa on July 09, 2015:

It causes tooth decay and they dont tell you that your teeth are going rott out of your mouth. I worked for Corrections Canada for 12 years until a serious MVA. Pain killers turned to an addiction, that landed me on Methodone. Methadone rotted my teeth. Maker of Methadone is not disclosing all the side of methadone. They should be held responsible......lawsuit!!!!

ksinger on April 03, 2015:

Methadone in my experience has,absolutely affected my teeth whether or not it is a direct result does not really matter ....that is one of the big questions asked during meth orientation does it affect your teeth ....of course the clinic says NO....that's a lie ...yes some may neglect tooth care during active addiction but I did not...i was a functioning addict who went to work every day so I took care of my teeth....was my body lacking proper nutrition absolutely is it now yes but if the clinic really cared about patients well being they would educate clients about the possibility of the affects methadone may have....they don't do,for me I've always had strong beautiful teeth and now that has,changed...been on mmt for 8 yrs and I'm starting to have teeth break and crack ....its craziness....dentists should definitely educate on the possibility of this and why it happens way before you start to loose your teeth ....its a little late now! My dentist sucks they look at me like a price of shit due to my addiction and could not even care less about my teeth....i have chronic dry mouth and I told him that he just looked at me as I waited for him to give me some advice...i knew the answer but it was just the point ....nobody is gonna tell you....u have to research on your own

LAURIE on April 22, 2014:

IN RESPONSE TO "EVERHARD".... FIRST OF ALL, HOW DARE YOU JUDGE PEOPLE WHO MUST TAKE A DRUG TO COMBAT AN ILLNESS - WHETHER IT'S DIABETES, HALITOSIS, OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE - I suppose you would consider a diabetic who is also a substance abuse and is curious to know how changes in the metabolism may affect his or her diet to control diabetes, and, if the "diet" and methadone treatment might possibly cause severe or fast-moving decay of the root in a tooth.

Let's INTELLECTUALLY explore this type of situation, shall we?

1. Teeth, gums, and nerves inside the mouth HURT - A LOT, furthermore, clearly decay is rampantly moving forward and taking it with it, one's self-esteem and/or attempt to "put on a happy face" while battling a powerful addiction. To top it off, there are always dim-witted, loud people like YOU who post hurtful, unfeeling, unwanted and mostly: Negative thoughts to people who are looking for help! You MUST be intellectually challenged because you haven't been able to grasp the overall message here is: Let's Help Each Other with this Common problem by exchanging Information. Definitely not: Lets put down these folks who are already heroically battling an addiction and want to know what they can do to look good, real good. these people are finding answers and fixing their problem. you just like to hear ( see yourself) talk - and it's not interesting, get a new gig.

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Cindy on May 09, 2013:

This is exactly what is happening to my teeth. I have been on methadone for about 10 years and my teeth are breaking and falling apart. I hate it . I feel horrible about myself. Not to mention it is painful. What can be done.?????????? I'm desperate. I'm only 56 years old and need my teeth.

bennyblanco on January 23, 2013:

I have been on suboxone for two years now and am now having major dental problems. I have had perfect teeth all my life and ever since suboxone my teeth are rotting.

Just a few days ago I had my regular cleaning. I had just dosed before going to the dentist and he checked the acidity level of my mouth and the levels were off the chart. I then took the same test later in the day and the levels were normal. I did not have anything to eat or drink before the dentist, the only thing in my mouth was the suboxone.

I don't know what to do. I do not want to give up the suboxone as it has given me my life back yet I do not want to lose my teeth. I no longer have any enamel on about 6 of my teeth and will need caps this summer.

Everhard Member on January 02, 2013:

YOU KNOW......I've changed my mind, after reading these post's , I really do believe that you are all sincere in your stories,and it seems that there really are no hard and fast rules for the effects of methadone and subutex etc etc, it appears that some of us are just lucky or unlucky,depending on genetics,lifestyle,diet etc etc. So all you idiots saying this that and the other, its only what happened to YOU, NOT what's going to happen to any one else who takes it-so keep your half arsed ,brain dead,massive generalisations to yourself-sure,whine all you want about your side effects, but don't start handing out advice on wether or not to take it -it takes seven years minimum just to be a G.P, and that's not with even specialising in any medical field, so who are YOU to make rash judgments?!But still, I think there is one generality that can be made,there seems to be a pretty fair proportion of users who are "DUMB AS TOAST"...seriously....some of the comments just make me sigh and roll my eyes, and those people are just truly hopeless cases, the kind who think you can get drunk on lemonade,or that sleep gives you cancer,and the piddly little bit of sugar in a tiny pill is to blame for your teeth etc etc. For example, I bet not one of you understands the massive convoluted chemical system that controls calcium levels in your blood,the hormones that help regulate it,the osteoclasts and osteoblasts that regulate bone density, and the myriad other processes that interact in just this system (hell even I cant remember all of it)-so when some one says "methadone leaches calcium from your bones"...yeah,sure, right.......the correlation between intellect and some drugs is hard to ignore,in some "obvious" cases at least.........

Jeffrey on January 01, 2013:

Look all opiates cause tooth decay from dry mouth and other reasons depending on drug. It is true that you get an increase in sweet cravings, which damage your teeth even more. A lot of people did a lot of drugs for years and years before going to methadone and suboxone, and now their teeth are damaged from the years of drug use and not caring now combined with the continuing dry mouth and other reason I will list below.

ITs important to note that me, and other people I know, who only abused opiates for a year or two had fine teeth at the dentist around after their drug use and begining of suboxohne/methadone use. I did eat a lot of sugar at first on suboxone, but after going to the dentist and getting 5 cavities I stopped and have been taking really good care of my teeth, but they are still getting messed up but not as much do to the use of sensodyne, floss, calcium /mineral pills, avoidance of sugar, and lower suboxone amount

I have researched this a lot and personally I think dentistry has such a bad history(mercury fillings,over fluoridation) of exposing toxins to patients, that I have a feeling a lot of American dentists are left out on certain information, the same way doctors are when it comes to things like vitamin c and omega 3's. From what I have learned is that sugar and opiates and a bunch of other things draw calcium out of your bones and it sugar is attacking you from inside and out, while opiates draw calcium out more significantly. Make sure you take calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals....First thing I noticed when I started taking 2000iu of vitamin D a day was that my gums stopped bleeding, whenever I stop taking they start bleeding again, yet I asked my dentists about this because nothing else ever solved my gingivitus bleeding and he was clueless. Also I have read online from actual smart dentists that believe suboxone is highly acidic, maybe not the drug itself but the things its mixed does have an "electric oranage" flavor afterall which sounds very very acidic. Many people put it under their tongue, it mixes with spit, and is then touching the teeth for 10 minutes or so....this explains why my bottom teeth are extremely more messed up then the top. I used to just put the strip under the right side of my tongue, and now my bottom right teeth are the ones that hurting, showing their roots, and there is even a hole or two appearing....Ive looked closely at all parts of my mouth, and this is not occuring in any other quadrant. It is not a coincidence that the teeth that are decaying are the ones that the suboxone-spit mixture touches. I put it on the other side of the tongue now, but I play on jumping off this drug within a couple weeks before my other side beging to rot.

So everyone needs to remember that suboxone does cause tooth decay through acidity, as well as drawing calcium out of your bones and teeth like other opiates. And it also causes dry mouth depending on how much you take...if you take 8mg or more probably, 4 or less probably not. Of course there is no study proving that the drug touching your teeth eats away at it, that's because no studies have been done....but I gave you direct evidence of my lower right teeth being messed up by the sub touching it. Also by going to every internet forum regarding suboxone and messed up teeth, the number of comments from new people is ASTOUNDING! I have never seen so many comments from new people in such a short amount of time for any other drug side effect or concern...and I have studies a lot. I even have the suspicion that the suboxone makers are covering this fact up, random people often posts who don't even use suboxone listing all these facts about how it doesn't cause decay...these exact same posts are found all over every random suboxone forum on the internet pretty much. They don't say who they are so I am assuming its a company represenetive trying to spread misinformation....I think they have found out it causes decay and don't want it to be discovered my the medical community because they have specifically stated "it doesnt cause tooth decay", and they don't want to be sued. Im guessing they might get sued eventually on this matter if someone in the medical community actually does their own research and doesn't get bought off under the table....don't get excited though because when this happens it will probably be a class action with millions of people seeking reinbursment for $1000s of dental bills....that's too much money it would bankrupt them becauase I have seen natural dentists on the internet say "every suboxone user has new tooth decay and worsening tooth decay, some worse than others, but even those that take care of their teeth constantly and avoid sugar receive decay"

Dentisty in general is essential in society. An abcessed tooth can kill you, and we need dentists to fix serious problems like this. Dentistry is also filled with lies and unescessary things....Some dentists even still put in mercury filling that only have a lifespan of 10 years....where do you think that mercury ends up when it breaks down? Why has the vast majority of industrialized societies quit flouridating the water?(more of europe, japan, even poorer countries too) Ill tell you why, its more toxic than lead. Take calcium, keep mouth wet with natural mouthwash, use flouride tooth paste, not the 1%, just the normal .2%. If you ate a couple tablke spoons of the 1% you would die...make sure you rinse your mouth out good and try not to let it absorb sublingually, Drink lots of tea and swish it around your mouth has natural flouride. MOST OF ALL DO NOT LET THE SUBOXONE/SPIT mixture touch your teeth! Keep your tongue up and try to drain it....after 5-10 minutes of taking suboxone make sure you go rinse off your teeth, brush them gently. Also lower the amount of suboxone you take....less you take the more effective it is and the less decay, constipation, and joint pain you will get!

richard on October 11, 2012:

Hello my fast story, im on 195 mg of liquid methadone. prior to methadone treatment i had never lost a tooth. I use floride toothpaist and mouthwash, whiting gum, even floss reguluar. I have been on methadone for about 3 years mabee a little longer, scince put on methadone about 6 mouths after i lost my first tooth i have now lost eleven teeth. Also have an absest tooth rite now and have had 3 root canals, and im only 24 years old. Im proof methadone kills your teeth, but i have talked to many people who is doesent effect.

LL on August 28, 2012:

There is no doubt in my mind that Suboxone or Subutex (both the pill and the sublingual film) cause very negative & permanent effects to your teeth. I've always had great teeth; I'm 32 & so far in my life up until I started taking Suboxone (first 8 mg pill then/currently the film) had only a couple of cavities. Because I'm very small & my mouth matches my size, when I was young I had to deal with overcrowding of my teeth. Because of this, I had to deal with having expensive a$$ braces for 2 1/2 years as well as this terrible mouth device that was made of plastic & went across the top of the roof of my mouth and connected across (side-to-side) from one side of my teeth to the other side with two thick plastic pieces extending down on both sides (was meant to line up with the insides of my bottom back teeth to help push them up and out because I had back teeth that leaned inwards) & was meant to help straighten out my inward leaning back teeth. The device was painful and it had to be cranked every so many days which would slowly & literally crank my teeth out and more towards a normal straight up and down position. But after all that pain & all the time, the final end results were beautiful. I got compliments on my smile literally all the time. I took good care of my teeth & there were no probs. Then after a bad car accident -where I was a passenger in a car that was struck by some imbecile who should have never had a license in the first place- and almost dying of injuries, & before it was "cool" to take prescribed opiates as a DOC & before literature was as well published/stressed in regards to abuse & prescribed opiates my dr. at the time prescribed me (4) Vic 10's a day (I was only 21 then) and before I knew it a couple years later when my dr. moved out of state & I decided to stop taking the pills, I found myself addicted. I moved on to street pills, mainly Oxy's but I did not discriminate if Fentanyl/Morphine/any other opiate was around. I did this for a couple years & ended up getting sick and tired of being sick and tired and sought help/trmt. I've been on Suboxone ever since. I started out with taking (2) 8 mg Suboxone pills daily and eventually weaned myself down to where I'm at today - under 1/4 of a pill (now strip) daily. My teeth were still beautiful all the time I was snorting Oxy's/other ill-gained opiates for the few years that I had partaken in doing such activities. Since taking Suboxone (I've been taking it orally for about 5 yrs; my dr. is very patient with me & I've been working hard at getting myself off of it/opiates altogether - I'm just having issue with one severe side effect and that's every time I don't take Sub for a day or 2 I go into a SEVERE yawning attack that lasts until I relieve it w/ a tiny dose of Sub. The yawning is so bad that it looks like I'm bawling my eyes out all friggin day cuz the yawning causes my eyes to water. So I'm slowly decreasing the amt of Sub that I take monthly/bi-monthly & hoping that soon I can finally get off of it w/ manageable yawning or no yawning.) my teeth constantly yellow at a much faster rate than they ever have (I NEVER had this issue before), they just feel a lot more -for lack of a better term- gross, I most DEF experience a VERY dry mouth on a daily basis (I notice that I experience the most severe dryness just after taking my daily dose of Sub), & most tragically I was eating a flimsy tortilla chip the one day & bit into it and literally my back molar crumbled apart in my mouth & I lost this tooth. I eventually had to go have the remaining small bit of this tooth pulled/extracted & the shot that the dentist gave me to numb me was extremely painful in that it shut all the nerves down on that side of my mouth and my face and every time whatever he injected into me to numb me hit a nerve it caused the most severe electrical shock-type feeling (that I've ever felt) to come across my face, w/ a total of I'd say approx. 15-20 of these shocks I had to endure, for over a minute. If this was not bad enough I could still feel the ripping and pressure when he was trying to extract it. It was terrible, awful, & I NEVER want to experience that horror again. IDK if this is similar to anyone else who has had a tooth extracted or if it was just because I went to a some kooky dentist, but it sucked badly. I was also told by another dentist that I had at least 3-4 cavities and when I eat any type of high-sugar food my teeth start to hurt/ache and I NEVER had any of this before taking Sub orally. My missing back molar has since caused my perfectly straight teeth to shift & I'm almost back to square one. I'm not on any other meds, I take great care of my teeth, & other than some overcrowding/space issues when I was smaller I never had issues/probs with the health of my teeth so it can't be anything other than Sub causing the probs. Another thing to further prove my claim is that my bf takes sub too and has never had dental probs other than a couple cavities and he too has had to have a back molar (same tooth as me except on the opposite side of his mouth) extracted since he started taking Subs. I've also had 2-3 acquaintances who all claim to have had really no issues with their teeth & had taken care of their teeth through their addiction & all of who take Sub and have had dental probs/issues since taking Sub. There is something in it that is causing corrosion/staining/adverse effects on teeth/enamel. Think about it; it makes sense that having something that has a potent & harsh citrusy taste to it (with a matching dark orange dye) sitting in your mouth for multiple minutes at a time, every single day for an extended period of time, CANNOT be good & I'd bet that taking Sub orally is just as bad as -if not worse than- swallowing a Methadone pill/syrup.

I have been on opiates for cronic pain for the last 15 years, I had two terrible car accidents that nearly killed me, I've taken every kind of pill under the sun and the bottom line is, if you care ab on July 29, 2012:


daryl on July 16, 2012:

I started with a heroin addiction than moved on to roxies.I ran the streets for years chasing the dragon and spending all my money.I went to the methadone clinic for about a year and found that getting to the clinic every morning than going to work in construction was not working out.So, i switched to a doc and suboxone which has returned me to a normal ,functioning member of society.I also noticed my teeth falling apart when i was on the methadone program .Also,if anybody goes from methadone treatment to suboxone give your self 2 weeks before you start suboxone so you don't go into immediate withdrawls.I waited 4 days when i started suboxone, not only did i get full blown withdrawls i also was disorientated and felt like i was on plut0.I went back to my sub doc 10 days after starting the program and tested positive for methadone even though it had been 14 days since i took any methadone.In my opinion,methadone or suboxone is better than the alternative of runing the streets.

IknewMarkyMark2 on May 07, 2012:

I've been on methadone maintenance (MMT) since April 2004. Thank goodness for it. I wish I had known about it three years earlier. However, the benefits don't come without a price, and that price is tooth decay and constipation at higher daily doses. Luckily, and just as the preceding articles indicate, it is totally easy to avoid tooth decay while on MMT by simply paying attention to your teeth. Take good care of them and keep that saliva going the best you can! Nobody warned me! I wish I could suit the asshole clinics that NEVER warned any of us much to speak of. The MMT clinics should make a HUGE deal of tooth decay. They should bug you about it... but they don't and they suck totally on that one very important area. On one hand it's unbelievable, on the other it's not. Thank God for the clinics, but they pretty much suck, other than the fact that they are there, and you can purchase your daily methadone from them and thus live a decent life. Ok! the other thing is constipation. The only things I've found that work are: 1) Again, you must keep the fluids flowing in (and out) for your teeth and for your digestive system. Take Benefiber (wheat dextrin) - or any other product that contains dextrin - I don't think it has to be wheat dextrin. I think a dextrin molecule is a dextrin molecule. The next thing is MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol 3350), which is good for times that your usual, daily intake (your frontline combatant) of Benefiber (dextrin) fails you. Now, MiraLAX take a couple of days to work. If you need to move and you need it now - you're gonna have to resort to the big 'E' (for 'E'nema - like the Fleet salt water type). Not a bigee. You'll see. It works. It's not real difficult to do as long as you're at your home base and not at a public restroom. Also, it doesn't hurt either, so no worries. If you like, you can substitute the saline water type with the little bottle of glycerine instead! Lastly, I wish the drug Relistor was available to us in MMT. I watched it progress through the U.S. FDA approval process, starting when it was a new idea at Wyeth. You guys should read about it. Last I looked it was really an amazing chemical. Believe me. I've been dealing w/ this crap (literally!) for eight (8) years.

JC on May 02, 2012:

Methadone also leaches calcium from your body which also causes tooth decay, so if your on methadone it is a good idea to take a calcium supplement.

bad luck on April 24, 2012:

my husband he was a soma and vicodin 30. like what he said the he stop it a week ago cuz he start with suboxone 8mg_2mg sl film, i give him half in the morning and half in the night. i see him very very fain. now someone tell me please can any one take suboxone and vicodin?

ELBlume on March 12, 2012:

I have been on and off suboxsone for the last 2 years. I always had great teeth, and taken very good care of them, At on point my dentist even told me I had perfect teeth. I was very proud of this, I went 28 yrs with not a single cavity, After a recent trip to the dentist I learned that I have 14 cavities !

I will admit it is possible that my off and on opiate abuse may have caused dry mouth creating some of the tooth decay. Although I do believe that the suboxsone had a large part in creating a majority of the

Long story short, neither the heroin or suboxsone was good for my teeth. Suboxsone has saved my life in many ways,and I would recommend it over heroin, methodone or any other opiate.

jamie on February 24, 2012:

My teeth are fine

Everhard Member on February 24, 2012:

ok, I'm another one who has been on done for 6 years, and it hasn't caused any major teeth probs for me-but what really irks me is when people who have had probs with teeth on meth and then state that it absolutely causes tooth decay really pi88es me off, no drug has the exact same effect on everyone, so obviously theres a lot of people on both sides of this argument, but can ANYONE point to a study that prooves it? as for the silly reasons like its got sugar in it well those reasons are just brain dead, what about all the other things people usually consume daily? be it beer,fizz,chocolate,cakes,tea/coffee,icecream etc etc i mean come on people that's got bugger all to do with it- for example the pH of your blood, the concentration of certain hormones etc all play a part in the rate off calcium absorption and depletion, its not so simply cut and dry like these idiots seems to think! plus don't forget that chronic dopers generally are lazy buggers who cant be bothered to clean their teeth even once a day! and also diets tend to suffer with "methadone sweet tooth" syndrome, I myself take 200 mgs day and my teeth are ok, but I've defintely put on about 15 KG of weight, so now I'm a 6 foot 100 kilo methadoned unemployed layabout with no job and a brain the size of a planet yet here I am, stuck in this bizzare reality....beam me up scotty...

Sub-standard-teeth! on February 08, 2012:

Jesus, don't some of these arrogant b#*tards that think they kno it all and slate people with addictions for whatever reasons pi55 any1 else off too? Its for the very reason that's methadone IS KNOWN TO AID TOOTH DECAY THAT THEY REMOVED SUGAR FROM ITS LIST OF INGREDIENTS HENCE THE 'SF' ON THE BOTTLE WHICH STANDS FOR SUGAR FREE, DESPITE THIS CLINICAL TRIALS HAVE PROVEN IT STILL DOES CAUSE DECAY, the wrong person, chalky water can cause liver damage.. Don't tell me meth or subs cant.. Tool. Sorry!

nicole on February 04, 2012:

I've been on suboxone for about a year, and I lost two of my teeth. I take very good care of them so, as you can imagine, I was shocked. I've never dental problems before this, aside from the occasional cavity.

Anonymous on January 17, 2012:

Suboxone does in fact cause not just tooth decay but rampant tooth decay. Ive been a sub patient now for almost 5 years I was on suboxone for 4 I have a chronic legit illness several of them mostly arthritis and fibromyalgia I was on vicodin but they took me off after a yr. Due to it not being a good long term solution for pain. So the only way at the time to get suboxone was to go to a detox facility and basically do rehab which the heroin addicts laughed at my 5 times a day 10mg vicodin habit of only 1yr. Maybe less but it was all Drs who made me do this so anyway they tried to start me out on methadone after I was held for 24 hrs no wd relief then transferred and held another totaling 48 hrs no wd relief finally I told a nurse since wd can be deadly they were having trouble getting me a room. They gave me methadone I was only on it for one day of my 5day stay and that equals 2doses they dissolve it in a one oz shot of water and u drink it. It knocked me on my ass I was high as a kite told the nurse hey I'm higher then vicodin ever got me. I said I didn't come here to pick up an addiction I came to manage pain better and had heard about subs being a new treatment since obviously methadone is flawed and only substituting legal heroin the gvt profits from for the street heroin giving ppl hepatitis and aids. So the next day I was given suboxone I knew nothing of this world when my Drs first put me on vicodin so all of this was a new terrible world to me but such a relief from the withdraw symptoms that I felt better. At the time I was unaware that there are 2 types of subs. There's suboxone and subutex. I asked for subutex and got suboxone since if ur in rehab no matter why or wether u sign urself in there it must mean at least in the eyes of mainstream society that u r a grade below being a criminal ur a filthy drug a using and abusing addict who's a waste of space and resources is almost about how 60% of the staff there treats u. Allowing u to compete for use of the phone they allow 1 hour and 8-12 rooms with 2 ppl each in them and any kind of family visits or supplies u may need such as meds and cigs clothes or an iPod all have to be held and given to u at certain times with special permissions granted based on cooperation in situation in which u undergo extreme sedation since they have a no narcotic policy they delt with my anxiety with the underwhelming Ativan my pain with mobic and as if I were scitzo they replaced my anti depressant sleep meds with seroquil a medication that makes me tired yet stimulates me since it does have a secondary affinity for the antihistamine receptor which I'm extremely sensitive to I cant take cough meds which dxm does nothing for anyone but screw u up a bit out of ur mind drunkenness if u will, so that u don't care as much about being sick and it dries u up so giving the illusion that u feel better since snot isn't dripping down ur throaght or face. Can't take benidryl for same reason. It makes me feel crazy and out of it stimulated and tired which equals aggregating my rls restless leg syndrome opiate withdraw puts this in overdrive. And the rehab clear my system for 2 of the 3 days anything has a chance of any weak vicodin being attached to any receptors they then refill them partially yet more then the vicodin did with methadone. Then 12 hours later administer suboxone opposite my request specifically for subutex since if u know ur body and have knowledge most likely if ur like me and do research about what u put in ur body I have more specific to my situation knowledge then the Drs themselves do and being degraded and talked down to and looked down on just due to being on the wrong side of the rehab side. I have more knowledge then 90% of the staff there that 10% being the 1of 3 Drs I saw since at the time only a few Drs in my state were allowed to write the Rx. Anyway so I take the suboxone which contains 2 active ingredients and is taken sublingual so is subutex. The only difference in these 2 drugs is that suboxone has a bit of inactive ingredient corn starch high fructose corn syrup sublingually this is bad for ur teeth. Subtext doesn't have a flavor added it only has corn starch. I believe and it's white not orange doesn't have a flavor but after 4 years maybe less that smell will make u sick to ur stomach as if u would need help there since I used to vomit maybe once a day at least 5 of 7 days a week. I was started on an absurd dose of 32mg a day that's 4 tablets when u get out. But suboxone has another active ingredient not found in subutex and the reason suboxone is has the one suffix is that it's a compound word from subutex with naloxone. Now naloxon can be a miracle life saving drug used in emergency situation when one is over dosing on heroin or some other opiate as a one time use to save a life. But that's all it's good for. The genius non dr FDA decided let's use 2 mg of this per 8 mg of buprenorphine the other active ingredient in suboxone. So what we have is a bad mixture that's bad for I'll explain why and pointless explanation is due as well. But suboxone is buprenorphine a partial agonist opiate with a strange characteristic it binds to all of the opiate receptors in the brain and fills them completely. So if they are full and u try to shoot heroin u may od and die. Idk wouldn't advise it never shot anything. But if u took an oxy or a vicodin any full agonist even methadone Is a full agonist opiate, but point is that it wouldn't work since the site is full and there is no receptor in the brain there's no room for the real opiate to fit so it gets washed out into the liver. Now they needlessly added naloxone a similar version of the heroin OD magic reversal drug life saver when used once like in er situations only. Now the ratio of naloxon to buprenorphine in suboxone has been adjusted over the yrs. Due to psychotic issues I'll explain. But the ratio is now 0.2mg naloxon to 8mg bupe. This still has an effect and remember this is an oral sublingual drug it can take up to an hour or 2 to fully dissolve the longer it takes the better it works. This is all fine and dandy when ur dealing with subutex which is only one active ingredient buprenorphine. The partial agonist opiate. But suboxone is buprenorphine and naloxone an opiate antagonist ititerally is the opposite and reverses the effects of opiates and can stop an od in it's tracks. But when taken daily over a period of years it has adverse effects the FDA did not study this drug long enough since it was already approved once. But they broke the law since even an approved drug requires extensive studies for a separate use. And now years later were finding that it was pointless to even add this they did it as a safe guard against that 1% of people who even do drugs at all that actually abuses them they used it as a counter measure so that this 1% not of the entire population just drug abusers this only makes up about 0.1% of the world population when it comes to opiates. So hurting millions or thousands for 0.1 is rediculous and based on a maybe. That they might abuse this medication so if they do they would be sent into terrible precipitated withdraw. As if in they're eyes they see this as a suitable punishment for relapsing on a physically addictive drug that they approved for pain and 90% of the people ending up getting on it one didn't ask to be on it or to be in pain and two mostly are victims of terrible accidents or health problems. But since 1% of those people "MIGHT" abuse the med this terrible drug when taken daily must needlessly be given to more people then not. It took me 4 yrs. To get on subutex and find a dr that would finally let me get off the terrible suboxone it's not a good drug for non addict patients it's not even good for addicts. Since the naloxone hasn't been studied for long term use and sublingual. It's claimed that's the small amount and route of administration being oral it was deemed unnecessary and that it's effect would only work as the antagonist if injected snorted or abused. But if accidentally swolled this would activate it as well so u have to try and keep it dissolving under the tongue as long a

Angel on January 09, 2012:

Ha suboxone does indeed cause mouth dryness , like a desert. Either that or I have developed diabetes in the last year. I hate this med it has ruined my life. The doctor started me on 2 mg 3-4 times a day and never weaned me himself so I weaned myself down to 1/2 mg 3 times a day and nothing has improved other than my Coherance ,I awake with absolutely nothing in my mouth some days and the others it's barely anything,the other side effects are still there every day as well :(

UserNumber119 on October 17, 2011:

methadoneuser: You really should learn to spell before posting. Do you honestly expect anyone to value your advice on doing "recherch" when you don't even take the time to spell correctly?

Anyway, I've been on methadone for a little over 2 years now. I began noticing tooth decay about a year ago. I've always taken very good care of my teeth. So the "you're an addict and didn't brush your teeth" argument doesn't apply to me (or a lot of posters, I'm sure). I've always thought it was from the corticosteroids that I'd taken for many years for arthritis. Those drugs caused my bones to become very brittle and break easily too. So I'm quite surprised tonight to learn how many people have suffered from tooth decay while on methadone. I'm gonna have to do some more RESEARCH on it.

methadoneuser on October 05, 2011:

methadone doesn't ruin your teeth there is no evedince at all that will tell you methadone ruins your teeth ifyou have bad teeth then you need to brush them and no methadone doesnot ruin your liver i swere to god people are ignorent do recherch before you post a well spreded myth around that's right the myth that methadone ruins your teeth also it doesn't get into your bones either that is also a myth

Rick on October 03, 2011:

Morphine for chronic pain. Teeth going fast.

scottyb on September 17, 2011:

Suboxone has definitely decayed my teeth. I was on opiates for various surgeries related to a bombing in Iraq. Fearing that I was becoming addicted to the pain meds after 4 years of being on oxycontin; and I was, I asked the doctor if there was a healthier alternative. Once I was on placed on suboxone, I did not have any pain. It wass all in my head since the opiates had affected my CNS for so long. The pain I used to feel was totally a mental projection of the addiction on my body. I have ben on suboxone for four years and have very bad teeth. This is not normal for me since I make regular visits to the dentist, brush and floss at least twice a day. I have always had a great set of teeth. My dentist told me that he had been doing research for the past three years, and would compare the patients he had that were on sub. with the ones that were not. His findings so far are that every patient on sub. has advanced tooth decay no matter the level of care they give their teeth. He is currently working with the Ohio Atty. Generals office to help try and find out what is happening and if leaving the subxone in your mouth until it dissolves causes overexposes the teeth by the chemicals that make up suboxone, in turn causing the decay. For all younay sayers, it is happening. Check out problems with it in London. They were giving this medicine out over 20 years ago, long before the US approved its use. See what problems those patients are having and compare them to yours. All of you that have bad teeth since you started the program, look back and think when you teeth started going bed. If it was a result of the opiate use, they would have been rotting this bad when you were on them since they cause damage more than any other substance. I am left hiding my teeth trying to get the VA to fix the problem. They placed me on what they called a "non-addictive, non-toxic" alternative and now that I have proof that sub. is both of those and more, they will not help me to fix these teeth of mine. I have to pay per tooth at an outside dentist. I am lucky that he has let me slide on some work due to treatment by the VA. Hopefully this company will have to pay for what they are doing. Good Luck to all of you!!!

casgirl91 on September 09, 2011:

I have been on subutex for 2,

years and i brush my teeth everyday and i have already broken 2,teeth...I was chewing a piece of gum lastnight and my whole tooth came completely out of my mouth all that is left is the root it does mess with ur teeth very badly so I would not even start on it if u wanna keep ur teeth....

daybyday on August 19, 2011:

Hello in response to NO OPIATES... I have been on suboxone for almost a year in order to be on Suboxone my doctor has the patients go to a weekly group and there is a girl in the group on Suboxone as far as i know for many months and she is pregnant so as far as i know you can take suboxone while pregnant.But KUDOS to you for quitting and thinking of the sweet baby. I know from experience that it is SO AWFUL quitting cold turkey!!Good luck and may it get easier for you. I respect and admire that you quit and put your babys health first. We all know the pain and suffering of withdrawl.But your rewards of being a healthy sober happy new mother is the best feeling in the world, far better than the "temporairy high" from the awful evil of the narcotic.

JRZGRL1 on June 16, 2011:

No Opiates, I don't know who told you that it was mandatory to stop Suboxone because you were pregnant. You should have been switched to Subutex while pregnant. "cold turkeying" off of any opiate while pregnant is not recommended and puts the fetus at risk.

Also, in regards to your experience with Subuxone/Subutex it is YOUR experience. It is not the experience of the vast majority of people who are on this medication.

No Opiates on June 15, 2011:

I was prescribed 2 mg of suboxone per day for about a year. I should never have been prescribed this horrible substance and simply weaned off the tylenol 1's I was taking. Imagine that I was prescribed 2 mg of Suboxone to combat taking about 6 tablets of tylenol 1's.

I shall share what I learned about suboxone. I had no idea what a potent and scary drug this was until I found I was pregnant and it was mandatory to stop taking any suboxone. I went cold turkey, which is not usually recommended, nor for everyone's personality. You must be very determined, tough as nails to adhere to this method. I was as sick as a dog with flu symptoms and anxiety for about 3 weeks. Now, after 2 months, I still have some of the poison left in my of the butorphenal. If I go for a long run, the flu symptoms return, purging out still little pockets of the poison out of my body.

I have noticed decay in my front tooth - to address the prime subject. I do believe strongly that both methadone and suboxone cause tooth decay and loss. Suboxone is not a benign drug. It is terrifying. I do understand how difficult it is in the face of an addiction and appreciate that these 2 medicines help those who have come from dark places, and I applaud those who have made that step. However, as per one of the other posts, the best thing you can ever do for yourself is to take the plunge and get off all the narcotics - methadone and suboxone included.

It is very difficult, painful but TEMPORARY to withdraw. To psychologically free your mind and time as well as to free your body is to truly rescue yourself.

I respect that addiction is a disease. I am disgusted with how the medical profession treats those with this disease. I do not look down on anyone with the disease. I wish more than anything that my blog here can first instill back self-esteem to you if you have the addiction and inspire you to follow my lead. Take the plunge and then after time you will see and feel the beauties of natural highs and clarity of mind.

Jess on May 25, 2011:

I am on Methadone and have been for about 7 years. I also use the Fentanyl Lozengers. I have always had beautiful white teeth and within the past 6 months my teeth have started chipping AWAY.I recently went to the dentist and found out I have 16 teeth decaying!!!!!!!! I need 10 crowns ASAP. This is over 1ok in dental work. I have always taken care of my teeth very well. This happened over a very short period of time. I woke up one morning and felt one tooth was a a little rough and within two months the other 15 were chipping off. I don't know if it is the Actiq alone or in combination with Methadone. I am freaking out! I have never experienced a dry mouth from Methodone or any other pain medication but these drugs are definetely causing tooth decay.

Jessica on May 08, 2011:

I was also abusing pain medication and just recently got on the Suboxone 8mg-2mg SL Film and i have only been taking half of one everyday for the past three or four days and now underneath my tongue where i stick the suboxone it is really sore and looks puffy and red? Also when i took it today and was really sore when i put it under my tongue? Does anyone know if this is from the medication or what it could possibly be? Or is something wrong with my gums and not have to do with the medication? Any suggestions? I don't want to be sore and keep taking it and making it worse? The more comments and suggestions the better? It does really make you feel better and cuts all cravings! Thank You, Jess

Shane on March 10, 2011:

Ive been in tooth pain, Chronic neck pain "whiplash" and now am diagnosed with De generative Disc disease!!! L4 is a bulge L5 is out of fluid and L4 is pushing out 5.5 M.M. on the sciatic nerve continuous pain.

I was getting a black market script for "methadone" and whatever else I could find.

I really only took up to 15 M.G. methadone per day and could find about any other drug that even came close to the "donE" the withdrawl is hell, but I recently found a great doctor who recommended "Saboxone"

Wow!!! no desire to drink nor any desire for any other drugs.

I went from 16 to 20 Ibuprofen a day plus 10 to 15 M.G. methadone plus around 3 to 4 norcos to 6 M.G. of saboxone a day.

wonderful results and a pill count did not bother me, cause it was dead on!!! The U.A. was not a problem passed it too. I am excited for the relief of a drug that works so well for pains and addiction too

I am not worried to much anymore the doc is awesome, and legal to.

I am quite impressed I did go 7 days off methadone before starting and tapered off at a decreased daily dose of 15 M.G. first week 10 M.G. next week 5 M.G. for a week and 2.5 Mg the last week, then 3 Norcos a day for 5 days. finally 48 hours without any opiates before saboxone induction. I tell everyone I know addicted to go to see my doctor the power of the drug is incredible and it does not get me high Just takes most of the pain away now for reasons of drug cost, I am on subutex which is just about half the cost and I have never done heroin, nor stuck a needle in my arm so the narcan is a waste anyway!!! success is great the drug is a money saver and a relief my habit was about $700 to $1000 per month the other way and not as much pain relief now $55 for the visit and $86 for the pills

Wow I was stupid!!! As for tooth problems yea 2 root canals, a pulled tooth and 5 cavities!!! I did not have as much as a filling before.

how does it relate well the problems started with pain.

I hope an addicted person reads this and decides to get help!!!

I asked for it and was truthful and received it I told the doctor and she helped me out... The M.R.I was the biggest cost for me, do not wait another night get help the key is admitting it before you get forced into it.. far easier way and lots more private less embarrassing then the LAW !!!!!!!!!!!!! do it for you PLEASE I know the pain I know doctors are ass holes and I understand the costs but the cops are worse

Charlie on December 10, 2010:

My names Charlie I've been on suboxton for 2 years...for the past 8 months I've been taking 1/8 of the tablet..I'm just wondering if I am damaging anything in my body or my teeth?? I find that this little piece of the pill I take daily helps me get through my day..please help me find these answers. Thanks Charlie

Ashwin Sura, MD on November 12, 2010:

I have treated hundreds of patients on Suboxone

I have heard from my patients of reduced saliva and enamel wears. Rotting of the teeth does happen but it is added with poor dental hygiene for years, smoking, sugar drinks and past history of dental hygiene neglect

Hope this helps

BMJisANidiot on November 10, 2010:

Oh ya thanks for that useless post BMJ.. People are trying to find out why opiates affect teeth, not read about your 12 step program.

darlene on July 25, 2010:

If you can not afford dental work get off all opiates or you will soon have NO teeth in your mouth. I have had thousands of dollars in dental work. It now is being replaced, thousands more...I am not young and have abused opiates most of my life.Pills, Suboxene, methadone, are all the same...It is not easy to be drug free but it is the only answer in the end..If you are new to addiction or are young do it NOW. If you are older and have had addiction in your life for years do it NOW. I have not died and am off the opiates. No sleep yet but I am doing better in al other areas. Good Luck!!

kim p on June 24, 2010:

please help teeth rottening and falling out i take oxycodone 30mg long period of time please send anwser to

BEMJ on April 27, 2010:

I used cocaine, painpills, meth, and eventually heroin, and now I'm in methadone therapy, slowly trying to go down&get off it. The most likely reason many ppl on methadone have dental probs is because they're experiencing the after effects of opiate addiction. When u use ur most likely not going2notice the tooth probs cuz ur high all the time. And when u stop doing opiates u actually feel pain&notice the things wrong with ur body. Methadone is an opioid inhibitobr, which means that when u take it, it goes into the opiate receptors in your brain&fills them&tricks them into thinking they're getting opiates, which means if u take heroin or oxys while on it u may not get high unless u do a lot. It amazes me that ppl don't do research on these things&try2educate themselves so they are aware of the pros&cons of methadone use. Methadone is like any other drug: it should be respected&used only under the care of an experienced addiction specialist as part of a rehab program that includes 1on1 counseling, drug screening&visits with a precribing md@least once a month. The clinic I go2has a high success rate because they focus on using methadone as a stepping stone2becoming completely drug free&encourages its clients2taper slowly&keep a good relationship w/ur rehab team.

angela on April 05, 2010:

Sometimes brushing too much can weaken the enamel. Especially after drinking cokes. If you think of what coke can do to a car battery, just imagine what is doing to your teeth. Then you brush the enamel off after the coke has loosened or weakened it. I had been abusing opiates for a long time and I am on subutex now. I have never had a cavity or had to have any dental work done EVER. Im 26 and I have 2 kids and another on the way. Pregnancy can also take a toll on your teeth. My husband and my kids and I have a great dentist that offers great advise. Just try to keep your dental appts and rinse your mouth with sink water (it contains natural flouride)after meals. Brush in the morning and at night and floss on a weekly basis. And NEVER use alchol based mouthwash. Hope that helps! :)

Mark in Jersey on March 23, 2010:

Second time on methadone. First time I tapered off easily from 50mg. Now I tapered off of 80mg to 60mg (currently, the last 5mg sucked for a few weeks). Now I am asking my doctor to bring me down to 40mg. (After a year at the clinic, now I only go in once a week. Daily clinic visits seemed almost as bad as handcuffs; couldn't go anywhere)

The only time I got "dry mouth" was when I first started using. But then again, any time I was on dope, morphine, oxycodone, or my drug of choice fentanyl; I would drink a lot of Gatorade.

I was always afraid of the dentist drill (after real bad childhood experience) and drank soda as a teenager. My mom (genetics) and I have always had thin tooth enamel and tooth decay even with constant brushing.

I started my drug habit by downing the whole bottle of hydrocodone (Vicodin) pills that the dentist gave for tooth pain. I moved on to harder drugs to provide pain relief at first, but for the euphoria and high, of course.

I noticed when I chewed up the 10/325 oxycodone pills, that my teeth would literally fall apart as I was abusing them. Of course there was no pain.

But now I only have a total of eight (8) good teeth (in front). The rest have been extracted or are in bad decay.

Now I am on methadone, and although the decay has slowed considerably, it is still there. I am hesitant to get off methadone completely; as I know narcotics are very addictive for me.

Turning to opiates totally turned me off to any alcohol; I can't even drink one beer as I hate it, I used to drink constantly before I started using opiates. Now I just crave for opiates and shun any alcoholic beverage.

Felt I had to share and get this off my chest. Thanks.

Jackie on January 31, 2010:

I have always tried to take good care of my teeth and I never really had any major problems... until now. More & more, I keep on getting bad tooth aches & I notice that my teeth are decaying at an alarming rate, although I don't understand why. I have been on methadone(60mg-80mg per day) for the past year and a half and now I'm wondering if this is the reason. I've read that methadone causes dry mouth, which if left unaddressed, could lead to tooth decay. However, I brush 3-4x a day & I constantly rinse with Biotene, so I don't see how I could be suffering from just the effects of dry-mouth. I think that there is got to be more to it, but does anybody know what? I am sooo afraid that I'm going to loose my teeth! Methadone has literally been a life saver for me and I don't feel ready to stop taking it yet. Are there any other preventitive steps I can take to combat this problem, besides having good basic oral hygiene? on January 22, 2010:


Sheri on December 29, 2009:

I have been on Methadone for 7 years now and my teeth are decaying at an alarming rate and chipping and breaking. I brush my teeth twice daily and floss twice daily. My dental bill is $5000 right now for 5 crowns, 1 root canal plus fillings. I am NOT on Methadone for an addiction. I am on it for chronic pain such as migraines and fibermyalgia. Please rinse your mouth after each meal and chew sugar free gum to help wet the mouth. METHADONE DEFINITELY CAUSES TOOTH DECAY AND CHIPPING! I think medical doctors should tell patients before putting them on this medication. I was NOT told.

Cybi on October 22, 2009:

Subutex does decay your teeth !

I am loosing the enamal of my teeth at an alarming rate after two and a half years of being on subutex mantinence. I take very good care of my teeth, but the decay is now so extensive my dentist has said is reluctant to fill my remaning teeth until I'm off subutex completely.

hygiene on June 28, 2009:

As a Dental Hygienist I never recommend that my patients use Listerine or any other alcohol-based mouth rinses..DO NOT use Listerine as a rinse while being treated with Methadone!!! Listerine contains alcohol. This is important for 2 reasons......alcohol has a drying effect on your oral tissue, thus increasing the "drying" effect that methadone users are already experiencing. AND 2 it has ALCOHOL in it...not good for anyone recovering from an addiction. Try a non-alcohol based rinse such as BIOTENE (there are others also available). I agree that increased water, brushing and flossing will improve you chances of keeping your teeth, but keep your sugar intake down as well!!! You would also benefit from using a daily fluoride rinse, this will help strengthen weakened areas of your teeth. In my experience, (30 years in dentistry), people who are having "other " issues in their lives don't find the "time" to look after themselves on the whole and teeth are last on many people's list of care. Often people who are abusing pain killers don't experience "pain" until the abuse is decreased. Find a Dentist for more information and guidance so that you can keep your teeth for as long as they were meant to last.

Tyler Wentworth on April 24, 2009:

I have been on soboxone for 8 months now, And i brush my teeth every day, I am on a 4mg alternating with a whole 8mg pill daily. Since i have been on soboxone, i have had 5 chipped molars, and now When i go to the dentist i can not receive pain meds. What do i do????

Nay on January 30, 2009:

Okay I came off methadone after 7 yrs,cold turkey without anything. Why ? because my husband left me stole my car and money. I had no clue it would rot my teeth out. I went to methadone after many years of abusing oxycontin. I was using daily anywhere from 10 to 15 80mg pills a day, of course snorting,yeah alot but after yrs of abuse tolerence is high as anything, I stayed high off my butt to. I went to methadone clinic. Thought it was my life saver til my teeth started crumbling up and falling out of my head. I went to dentist, all they would do was want to pull them all out. I will now tell u am 31 and all my teeth are gone. It is embaressing as hell but what do u do. I came off after 7 yrs on 140 mg and I thought I would die, so I go back to my old habit of the qxy's and I am there still today.

llll on January 01, 2009:

no it doesn't

tormenta386 from buffalo,new york on September 14, 2008:

methadone also causes liver damage so be careful... my kids father had it and is not nice!

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