Smoking Marijuana | How bad is it for your teeth?

Published on April 20, 2020
Smoking Marijuana | How bad is it for your teeth?

We don’t condone drug use: But we do receive questions on the impact of smoking marijuana!

We all know that smoking cigarettes can cause gum disease and yellow teeth, but what about marijuana? New studies in New Zealand were conducted to explore if there was an association between cannabis use and gum disease, also known as periodontitis.

Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that is caused by a build-up of plaque. When the gums become severely inflamed, the seal between the teeth and gums open and the bacterial infection deepens into the tissue. This can cause serious damage to the underlying bone and if left untreated, will result in tooth loss.

Scary stuff right? With the study indicating that marijuana can be linked to an increased probability of developing periodontal disease, maybe it’s time to put down the puff and pick up a toothbrush.

Weed out any falsehoods

The 5 studies included a total of 13,491 individuals, 50% men and 50% women, spanning over 5 different countries. They completed a thorough exploration of the topic with 3 of the included studies investigating the relationship between cannabis and periodontal disease in adults, and the other two being performed in adolescents.

Smoking marijuana isn’t just associated with periodontal problems according to the American Dental Association, it can also cause xerostomia (dry mouth), leukoplakia (thick white patches on your tongue), and an increase in the risk of mouth and neck cancers. If you already have a chronic disease such as diabetes, it can make maintaining good oral health that much harder when your immune system is lowered and your body can’t effectively fight mouth bacteria.

Smoking in general is already proven to be really bad for your oral health, with it being one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Tobacco use, aside from staining your teeth and giving you bad breath, has serious effects on many different areas of the body including your cardiovascular system. If you have an addiction to smoking, get tips and hints today on how to kick the habit.

Pot luck with your oral health

Although you may get away with bad habits and still have healthy teeth, it’s like entering an oral health lottery. Many factors can contribute to what’s happening inside your mouth including your family genetics, having a well-balanced diet, good hydration, healthy oral hygiene, and making sure you have regular visits to the dentist. With oral health now being definitively linked to your overall health, it’s important to not take chances.

The studies show that marijuana can be linked to periodontal disease so it’s important know the symptoms and risks of this disease that affects just over 11% of the global population:

  • Discolouration of teeth from plaque build up
  • Red and inflamed gums
  • Bleeding (especially when brushing or flossing your teeth)
  • Pain when eating and chewing
  • Bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth
  • Tooth loss

Joint effort to keep your teeth healthy

If you’re someone who can’t give up the 4/20 habit, your oral health is not a completely lost cause. If you maintain a strict oral hygiene routine and take care of your teeth and gums from an early age, this will reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Proper oral hygiene involves brushing twice a day, daily flossing and visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup. If you keep on top of your dental visits, your dentist may be able to find problems that are not yet threatening and intervene before it becomes more serious.

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