Does smoking marijuana cause cavities

Published Aug 28, 2019 11:00 a.m. ET
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Marijuana can be used not only by smoking but by vaping as well as eating. Its use has increased due to the legalization in some states, even though it is still illegal under federal law. Marijuana use has an impact on the health and wellness of our mouth, and oral health is often overlooked, but the health of our mouth is just as important to the well-being of the body.

Smoking marijuana exposes smokers to periodontal disease and other oral conditions

Dr. Wolfert is a dentist at South Weymouth. He said that saliva is important in preventing the teeth from decaying and further states that many dentists recommend that patients chew sugarless gum so that their mouth can produce more saliva as a dry mouth can cause the decay of the teeth. Marijuana users may be at risk of succumbing to gum diseases, also known as periodontal disease. Dry mouth can arise from smoking marijuana, which can contribute to tooth decay and tooth loss. Tobacco and alcohol use can cause dry mouth as such, these conditions are not exclusive to marijuana.

Additionally, several studies have shown that the frequent use of marijuana can cause cavities, gingivitis and even oral cancer. It was confirmed that users of marijuana might be prone to bad oral health than non-users.

There is also a higher risk of developing oral cancer from decay and missing teeth. Medical marijuana is beneficial in treating pain and other ailments. However, medical practitioners believe that marijuana has more negative impacts when smoked than eating marijuana edibles.

Furthermore, Xerostomia is a mouth disease, also known as cottonmouth. It is caused by limited production of saliva. THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana binds the receptors in endocannabinoid in the brain. This causes signals to reach the brain to reduce the production of saliva. Also, Edema is another mouth disease, where marijuana users can be exposed to, it is a swelling of the tissues in the mouth which is caused by leaking blood vessel. Cannabis use can also cause tooth loss and even yellowing of the teeth.


Recommendation to help with oral hygiene

Dr. Wolfert recommends that smokers of marijuana should brush and floss their teeth twice per day as well as chew sugarless gums and eat foods that stimulate the production of saliva. It is also recommended to drink a lot of water. A decrease in smoking cannabis and practicing good oral hygiene is another way to prevent cavities.

As stated before, brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste regularly is important in mitigating the effects of marijuana use. Also, visit the dentist for a regular check-up to help to prevent the development of gum diseases. Suzanne Hubbard, an expert in dentistry stated that she advises her patients to use baking soda on their teeth after smoking marijuana to help to remove the sticky film caused by marijuana use.

Finally, it is important to practise good oral hygiene and take good care of your oral health; remember to brush and floss your teeth, or even reduce your cannabis use from smoking and opt for the of trying edibles instead.

Adverse effects from smoking marijuana explained


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