Oral Health Profile of HIV-infected and Non-HIV-infected Methamphetamine
Users in an Indonesian Drugs Rehabilitation Center

Laifa Annisa Hendarmin, Endah A.T Wulandari, Adhi Nurhidayat, Ibnu Harris Fadillah, Ayu Fitri Hapsari

Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Indonesia

Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, Indonesia

Dr. Soeharto Heerdjan Mental Hospital, Indonesia

Department of Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Trisakti University, Indonesia

Department of Histology, Faculty of Medicine, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Indonesia



Introduction: Recreational methamphetamine use, contributes to HIV transmission, and is known to have devastating oral health effects, that can lead to a condition called "meth mouth".


Objective: To explore the condition of the oral cavity in methamphetamine users and to compare the findings for those living with HIV with and those without HIV infection.


Method: This study recruited 39 methamphetamine users who were being rehabilitated at a Drug Dependence Hospital in Jakarta. The oral status was observed using OHIS, DMF- T, GI, and CPITN. The unstimulated salivary flow rate (SFR) was measured using a spitting technique. Salivary acidity was analysed using a universal pH indicator. Changes in the oral tissues were recorded and diagnosed by a specialist in oral medicine.


Result: There was only one female amongst the 39 subjects, who had an overall mean age of 29.8±5.9-year-old. 21% of the subjects had HIV, 95% were active smokers, 38% had a hepatitis co-infection, and 95% were multiple drugs users.

Although statistically, oral health conditions were similar between those with and without HIV infection, we found more HIV-infected methamphetamine users had higher caries activities (p=0.38), more severe gingival inflammation (p=0.91), lower SFR (p=0.15), more acidic saliva (p=0.81), mucosal hyperpigmentation (p=0.13), TMJ disorder (p=0.11), and hyperkeratotic lesion (p=0.27).

Interestingly, HIV-infected methamphetamine users had less oral mucosa hyperpigmentation (p=0.13), and had a better periodontal condition (p=0.43). Both groups shared a similar frequency of nicotinic stomatitis (p=1.00) and oral ulcers (p=0.51).


Conclusion: Both HIV and non-HIV infected methamphetamine users in Indonesia suffer from changes to the oral tissues, although a specific difference between the two groups could not be demonstrated. Further study is needed to identify the factors that led to this finding.

Keywords: methamphetamine, meth mouth, oral health, HIV