Health & Wellbeing Service - Manchester

Methadone Mouth


If you take methadone it can increase your chance of developing bad teeth  / tooth decay as the methadone you use may contain sugar.
There are things you can do to help reduce this risk.

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste before you go to get your methadone.
  • Use circular or gentle scrubbing and brushing movements along your gum line and don’t forget to brush again before you go to bed.
  • Brushing your teeth morning and night with fluoride toothpaste will help your general oral hygiene and while brushing spit out the paste but do not rinse your mouth, leaving the fluoride around your teeth will help.  
  • Drink some water after taking methadone. Try to swill it around your mouth before swallowing.
  • Some drugs, including methadone, can make you thirsty. Drinking plain water helps with a dry mouth.
  • It is best to keep sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes especially fizzy drinks as frequent sugar intakes can cause tooth decay.
  • If your mouth feels dry, go and see your dentist who may prescribe toothpaste with more fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
  • If your gums bleed, don’t stop brushing, go along and see your dentist.

Your dentist:

  • will get rid of any dental pain for you
  • will keep your medical history confidential
  • may be able to improve the appearance and function of your teeth
  • will check your mouth for any other problems.

NHS dental treatment is free if you are:

  • aged under 18
  • under 19 and also in full-time education
  • pregnant or have a child less than 12 months old before treatment starts
  • getting (or your partner gets) Income Support, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • named on a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • named on a valid HC2 certificate issued under the NHS Low Income Scheme.

Getting an NHS dentist:  Please click here for information regarding accessing your nearest Dentist.

Whatever you call them, the effect on your teeth can be rotten!

The syrup is sticky and sugary and can rot your teeth so.......

Brush your teeth and gums with fluoride toothpaste; just a gentle scrub is fine before you get your methadone.

Try to swill your mouth with plain water after taking your methadone.

Ask for sugar free methadone.

  • Fizzy and energy drinks are sugar heavy, make you thirsty and rot your teeth.
  • If your mouth gets dry try sugar free gum or plain water.
  • If your gums bleed when you are brushing – don’t stop, see your dentist, they’ll help.
  • Go and see a Dentist, It’s confidential; they can get rid of pain and may be able to improve how your teeth look. They will check your mouth for any other problems.

Dental Helpline number 0161 476 9649 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm).

Or 0161 337 2246 (6pm -10pm weekends and bank holidays) or ring NHS DIRECT number 111