That's Meth Up

Mangesh Hattikudur

I know this is going to come across completely ignorant, because while I know crystal meth is bad for you (a little fact I picked up by watching Six Feet Under and Geraldo), I had no idea that it mucked up your teeth this much! The pic to the left is of The Pogues' singer Shane MacGowan's distinctive smile, which is often attributed to his use of the drug. So, what causes meth mouth? It's supposedly due to the corrosive acids used to produce the substance, and whether meth is smoked, snorted, eaten, or injected, its effect on smiles is pretty apparent (it's characterized by brown or black cracked teeth and severe gum disease). And because the teeth are literally rotting in the mouth, the odor of meth user's breath is said to resemble "decaying carcasses." Delish.

Of course, Wikipedia doesn't give all the credit for MacGowan's smile to meth. Here are some of the other reasons it claims his kisser looks that way:

  • Lack of brushing
  • Drunken fights in which he has been on the losing side
  • Alleged police brutality in the late 1970s
  • LSD-- MacGowan's former girlfriend Victoria Clarke, once claimed that he had further damaged his teeth by eating a copy of the Beach Boys Greatest Hits vol. 3 LP whilst under the influence...

Click here for more on MacGowan. Thanks Adam and John!