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Effects of Marijuana on Your Oral Health

March 6, 2019

As legalization of marijuana becomes prominent in Canada, we want to inform you about the possible effects of cannabis on your oral health.
It has been known for years that tobacco damages your teeth and gums, leading to additional, more harmful health issues. Smoking weed can be just as detrimental to your health as tobacco, if not more.
Your oral health gets affected differently depending on the potency levels of the cannabis you are smoking or consuming. This now legal alternative cigarette gives nightmares to your dentist.

Dry Mouth

One of the main concerns with marijuana use is dry mouth. Smoking weed can result in your salivary glands producing less saliva than needed for a moist and healthy mouth. Saliva acts to neutralize acids and limit bacterial growth.
What happens when you have a dry mouth? Reduced saliva causes your mouth to freak out. Gum disease, increased risk of cavities and inflammation of your mouth and lips develop. An overgrowth of your gums may also be present.

What if I avoid smoking marijuana on a daily basis? You are still at risk.
Smoking marijuana means you are holding the smoke in your lungs and mouth for longer periods of time than when smoking a single cigarette. This causes as much and possibly more damage as someone smoking tobacco. No matter how much you smoke marijuana, the side effects stick around. Your teeth and surrounding gum tissue become affected for lengthy periods of time. You also become susceptible to an increase in cavities.

Snack Attack

Marijuana users are well aware of the effects of getting high. The cannabinoid compound, THC, found in marijuana acts as an appetite stimulant. Regular use of marijuana increases your desire to snack. Since most of the snacks of choice are cariogenic, this elevates the risk of cavities. Allowing sugary and fatty foods to remain on your teeth for long periods of time causes problems that require a dentist.

When you come in for your dentist appointment, it is very important that you inform your dentist if you use marijuana. They can help you understand the best ways to monitor your oral health. For any concerns that may pop up as a result of marijuana use, it is best to be informed.

Oral Cancer

Eating or smoking pot can be deadly, literally. Cannabis contains carcinogens, substances that promote the formation of cancer. Ingestion of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, enters the bloodstream and weakens your immune system. Your gums and teeth are at risk of infection. Long term smoking of cannabis changes the lining of your mouth. Cannabis stomatitis, chronic inflammation of gingival tissues, increase your risk of oral cancer.

Oral cancer signs are white patches in the mouth that thicken developing into an ulcer. If not treated, the ulcer will continue to grow. You can die from this type of cancer. Your dentist is likely the first person to notice signs of this disease. Regular dental checkups can help save your life. Visit your dentist for a complete cancer screening. They can help you take care of this situation before it gets out of control.

Use your judgment when it comes to smoking up a high. Always remember to monitor your oral health to prevent a nightmare in your mouth. A consistent dental routine means both you and your dentist will have sweet dreams.

Take care of yourself and don’t let the high take you away from reality.

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