Marijuana produces a few side effects harmful to your mouth’s health, especially if you smoke.
Things can turn on a smile and brighten a day. And common sense says we need to manage our mouth, teeth and gums for good health. Science and sense says smoking cigarettes is bad for our dental health. Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and other forms of tobacco cause oral cancer, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Untreated tooth decay is higher in people who smoke cigarettes. Over 40% of adults aged 20 to 64 who currently smoke cigarettes have untreated tooth decay. In addition, One of the effects of smoking is staining on the teeth due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco. Teeth yellow in a very short time, and heavy smokers often complain their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking. But does marijuana effect your dental health?
A large study from Duke University found links between smoking cannabis and different mouth diseases. Researchers discovered unlike cigarettes, cannabis isn’t harmful for your lungs, cholesterol or blood pressure.
“While study participants who had used marijuana to some degree over the last 20 years showed an increase in periodontal disease from age 26 to 38, they did not differ from non-users on any of the other physical health measures,” says the study.
The most likely diseases regular marijuana smokers can develop include periodontal disease, xerostomia (a permanent form of dry mouth) and leukoplakia (the appearance of white spots on the inner part of people’s mouths). Consuming cannabis produces dry mouth, altering your mouth’s functioning and decreasing the development of saliva. This allows for bacteria to develop and which could also lead to cavities and infections.
Leukoedema is more common among cannabis users than non-users but it is unclear whether associated irritants, such as orally inhaled smoke, rather than cannabis itself, may be contributing causes.
Less serious conditions include gingivitis and teeth stains, which are due to the presence of smoke in your mouth. The act of smoking is bad for your mouth in any way you look at it, and there’s no way of preventing it.
If you like to smoke cannabis and are concerned by these results, take a deep breath and relax. There are plenty of ways to treat your cannabis induced dry mouth, like having some water and chewing gum as you’re smoking. It wouldn’t hurt for you to try out vaporizers and other methods of consuming cannabis which don’t involve smoke. Another harmful thing you should be mindful of are the munchies, which generally strike late at night and cause many people to go to bed without brushing their teeth. I know this is Dental Health 101, but a reminder never hurt anyone.