Ear, Nose and Throat - U.S.A.  (ENT USA) ENT Signs of Drug Abuse
ENT Dangers of Drug Abuse - Dental Caries, Nasal & Palate Necrosis
ENT Dangers of Drug Abuse
Dental Caries, Nasal & Palate Necrosis

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Case 1:  This video is of a 45 year old male patient with a history of narcotic abuse.  The patient developed mild intranasal pain and changes in his voice.  In addition, food and liquids entered his nose when he ate.   The narcotics used were prescribed by a physician and not obtained on the street. 

Shown below are three pictures from the patient.  The picture below and to the left shows necrotic tissue inside the right nose.  There is extensive dead tissue plus a perforation of the nasal septum can be seen.  The center picture shows the appearance of the left naris.  Note that only the lower margin of the middle turbinate is necrotic.  The right hand picture shows a perforation of the soft palate which was caused by tissue necrosis due to intranasal narcotic use.    Click on Pictures to Enlarge

  Intra Nasal Necrosis and Septal Perforation  Intranasal Necrosis  Soft Palate Fistula

Treatment required multiple endoscopic nasal debridement and withdrawal from narcotic usage.  Once the mucosa has healed the patient's soft palate (roof of the mouth) hole can be repaired using a pharyngeal flap.   The nasal septal perforation may cause bleeding, whistling and crusting.  Usually, these symptoms can be held at bay using nasal rinses.  However, if persistent, operative repair or placement of a nasal septal button may be beneficial.  

Case 2:  This video is of a 48 year old male who is seen with a three day history of left facial pressure and decreased nasal airway.  The patient had chronic pain and was on prescription narcotics.  

Shown below are three pictures from this patient.  The left-hand picture shows abundant mucosa and debris underneath the left inferior turbinate.  The middle picture shows dead mucosa above the left inferior turbinate and adhesions between the inferior turbinate and nasal septum.  The far right picture shows some of the necrotic mucosa that was removed from the nose. 

Dead Mucosa Below the Inferior Turbinate  Dead Mucosa Below the Inferior Turbinate, Adhesion of the Interior Turbinate to the Nasal Septum  Dead Tissue (Mucosa) Removed From The Nose

As with case #1, treatment involves multiple endoscopies to clean the naris and withdrawal from narcotic usage. 

  • 1. methamphetamine and dental caries
  • 2. methamphetamine and dental caries
  • 3. methamphetamine and dental caries
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  • 5. methamphetamine and dental caries
1. methamphetamine and dental caries1 2. methamphetamine and dental caries2 3. methamphetamine and dental caries3 4. methamphetamine and dental caries4 5. methamphetamine and dental caries5
This picture shows "Meth Mouth" or the appearance of the patient's mouth after using methamphetamine.  Extensive dental caries are present which will require extraction of all of the patient's teeth.  Loosing all of one's teeth at a young age can lead, over the course of years, to absorption of the mandible (jaw bone) with loss of the ability to have good fitting dentures.  In addition, the loss of vertical height of the biting surface can lead to temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome with chronic pain and arthritis in the jaw joint.  

This type of drug abuse is common in the U.S. and in the Appalachian Mountain Region.  For more information go To Operation UNITE's website.  

Note Pictures Courtesy of:  Sharlee Shirley-Burch, RDH, MPH; University of Kentucky, College of Public Health

Meth Mouth from methamphetamine abuse  Meth Mouth

  Meth Mouth   Click on Pictures To Enlarge 





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Page Last Updated 08/24/2023 
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