effects of methamphetamine (MA) on caries have been well documented. Little,
however, is known about its effects on the periodontium. The authors conducted
this study to determine the prevalence and severity of periodontal disease in an
urban population of HIV-positive MA users. This cross-sectional survey was
conducted in one of the most populous urban areas of Los Angeles County,
California, beset with high rates of MA use. Participants were recruited by a
combination of street outreach methods, referral from drug treatment centers,
and word of mouth. Participants were eligible if they were older than 18 years,
spoke English or Spanish, used MA in the past 30 days, were willing to undergo a
dental examination and psychosocial assessments, and were willing to provide a
urine sample. Periodontal assessments were completed for 541 participants by 3
trained and calibrated dentists.
Key Words. Attachment loss; pocket depth; HIV; methamphetamine use;
periodontal disease; epidemiology.