Does Smoking Marijuana Lead To Gum Disease?
A survey conducted last year showed that around 78 million Americans smoke or have tried marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Although smoking weed is legal in some states and it has certain benefits including relief for chronic pain and muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis, frequent use and abuse can lead to different health issues. One of these is poor dental health. We spoke to our friends at Laurich Dentistry about this topic.
Frequent use of marijuana (especially for recreational purposes) can cause teeth stains, bad breath, cottonmouth (dry mouth), and mouth cancers. It can also cause gum disease.
But how does smoking marijuana lead to gum disease?
A study showed that both tobacco and recreational marijuana users are at risk of periodontal disease. Although there is still no clear evidence as to how weed specifically causes periodontitis, scientists speculate that the chemicals from the marijuana affect the immune system, the inflammation process, and bacterial flora in the mouth. This is similar to the effects of smoking on a person’s gum health.
It is also worth mentioning that marijuana usually has 430 to 460 different compounds in it – more than what a cigarette contains. This increases the risk of gum disease for frequent marijuana users.
Periodontitis can lead to serious dental issues such as:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Receding gums
- The development of space between teeth
- Bad breath
- Teeth sensitivity
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Loss of teeth
Gum Disease Prevention
If you smoke marijuana for recreational reasons, you can improve and maintain the good conditions of your gums by quitting. Once you do, you will see an improvement in gum health. You will also slow the painful wear on enamel which causes tooth sensitivity. Lastly, you will have better chances of retaining your natural teeth now and in the future.
You can get healthier gums and teeth by following the additional tips below:
- Practice good oral hygiene habits every day. Brush at least twice daily and floss once a day.
- Improve your diet. Boost your consumption of dairy, fresh vegetables and fruits, and foods rich in probiotics every day. These foods will fight off the effects of plaque acids on your teeth. They will also boost your immune system to help fight gum disease.
- Drink plenty of water. A hydrated mouth is a healthy mouth.
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash with antibacterial properties.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleaning.
If you use marijuana for medical purposes, consult with your Sterling Heights dentist on how you can minimize the effects of this drug on your oral health.