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The Boston Globe



Enlisting dentists to fight meth

And more recent highlights from the Ideas blog

Methamphetamine addiction is the new crack epidemic—a scourge that rips up communities, especially rural ones, and has frustrated many attempts to slow it down. Now a new project from the Tufts School of Dental Medicine suggests that an important weapon in the fight could be dentists.

The idea, as explained in a recent issue of the Tufts Dental Medicine Magazine, was developed by Jennifer Towers after a vacation trip to the small Idaho town of Coeur d’Alene. Towers, the dental school’s director of research affairs, saw lots of young Idahoans with really bad teeth, a side effect of rampant addiction to methamphetamine. The drug can cause teeth gnashing so intense it leads to cracked enamel and, eventually, a grotesque state of tooth decay known as “meth mouth.”

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