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ISRN Dent. 2011;2011:974768. doi: 10.5402/2011/974768. Epub 2011 Jun 26.

The pH Levels of Different Methamphetamine Drug Samples on the Street Market in Cape Town.

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Oral & Dental Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Tygerberg, Cape Town 7505, South Africa.


The purpose of this study was to determine the pH levels of 29 different samples of methamphetamine on the street market in Cape Town. The sample was dissolved in water and the pH of each sample determined. The pH levels varied from 3.02 to 7.03 with an average of 5.0. Seventy-two percent (21) of the samples had a pH level below the saliva "critical pH point of 5.6" and therefore should cause significant damage to enamel, especially in hyposalivation subjects without a saliva flow. However, about 26% of the samples had a pH level close to the neutral point and should cause minor damage to enamel. To lessen enamel damage, subjects should exercise good oral hygiene practice, rinse with a fluoride-containing mouth rinse, drink artificially sweetened drinks, and eat cheese. It is concluded that most of the methamphetamine samples have a low enough pH to cause direct damage to enamel especially in hyposalivation subjects.

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