Methamphetamine Information: Integrating Oral Health with Primary Care

Format Publication ID Version Published
Evaluation Tool, Presentation, Multimedia 9299 1 December 18, 2012
University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences


This teaching module is based on the results of separate assessments of dentists and physician assistants practicing in Kentucky and West Virginia and subsequent training resources developed to meet their reported need for practical information on Methamphetamine. Illegal Methamphetamine (MA) is on the rise in the U.S. while dentists, physician assistants and other health care providers may be unaware of the percentage of their patient population using MA. Uncertainty about the appearance of early stages of "Meth Mouth" and what can be done for these patients has led to lack of care and referrals for further treatment and prevention. Unfortunately, advanced cases rarely result in optimal care due to lack of patient interest and/or lack of awareness and timely intervention. This resource provides current evidence to support the need for updated information on MA, its oral manifestations and brief video approved by the Kentucky Board of Dentistry for 1 CEU and is intended for practitioners in dentistry, medicine, nursing and other professionals who may play a role in the early recognition, intervention and referral for users of MA. This information has been useful for physician assistant students as part of their orientation to oral health as an integral part of a health promotion and disease prevention course. The purpose of this module is to encourage interprofessional interface in the recognition and referral of patients suspected of MA. The BOHC Competencies related to this module include:

  • General Oral Health Screening- Apply foundational knowledge of oral health to perform basic assessment screening and diagnoses.
  • Public Health - Work with health professionals and community partners to emphasize health benefits and effective disease and injury prevention strategies.
  • Medical Dental Interface - Optimize oral health and treatment outcomes through effective outreach and collaboration with dental professionals.


Skaff K, Crout R, Blackwell C. Methamphetamine Information: Integrating Oral Health with Primary Care. MedEdPORTAL; 2012. Available from:

Educational Objectives

  1. To optimize oral health and treatment as part of overall well-being for of illegal methamphetamine through informed outreach and collaboration among healthcare professionals. 
  2. Early recognition, intervention and referral for suspected users of illegal methamphetamine and other illegal substances. 
  3. To integrate knowledge and standards of care for users of MA seeking oral health care. 
  4. To identify oral health problems associated with MA in a basic oral health assessment/screening.


  • Illegal Methamphetamine Users, Effects of MA, Early Recognition and Referral, Building Oral Health Capacity (BOHC) Collection, Multidisciplinary Teamwork


  • Medical
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Family Medicine
    • Internal Medicine


  • Dental
    • Clinical Exam
    • Physical Diagnosis
    • Preventive Dentistry

Competencies Addressed

  • Medical
    • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
    • Interprofessional Collaboration
    • Medical Knowledge
    • Patient Care

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Exam
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Professional Interest

  • Communication Skills
  • Interprofessional
  • Oral Health
  • Substance Abuse

Organ Systems

  • Gastrointestinal system

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Dental Student
    • Medical Student
    • Nursing Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Resident

Instructional Methods

  • Lecture
  • Team-based Learning

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