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How Marijuana Affects Your Teeth

added on: September 28, 2018
woman looking inquisitive

Marijuana legalization is becoming more and more common, with nine states, as well as D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, including Nevada. There are both medical benefits and risks associated with cannabis use.  As acceptance of marijuana usage becomes more prevalent, it’s important to know everything you can about any risks associated with it. Most people don’t realize there is an often an seldom discussed potential danger of smoking; your teeth.


The Journal for the American Medical Association examined the effects of marijuana smoking, focusing on moderate to heavy users. They found that smokers were at greater risk of periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. Periodontal disease starts with gingivitis, causing swollen and sensitive gums, bad breath, and loose teeth. Smokers also showed significantly more gum tissue degradation.


Of course, the concerns stem beyond legalized marijuana.  Medicinal marijuana is legal across even more states; currently 31 states. It has been proven to be effective in relieving nausea and pain stemming from cancer and chemotherapy, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, epilepsy, insomnia, and even TMJ. There are many people that have come to depend on it as a way to overcome horrific conditions.


So, how can smokers protect their teeth? Whether you are a recreational user or a medicinal user, there are ways to mitigate your risk. You already know that processed foods, alcohol, and smoking are hard on your teeth, so cutting out as much of those as you can will help your teeth immensely. Marijuana can also cause dry mouth, so drinking plenty of water, especially while smoking, is absolutely vital. And of course, keep brushing and flossing daily!


If you’re a smoker, make sure to let your dentist know. The more information they have, the easier it will be to spot issues and keep your mouth healthy. If you have any questions about smoking marijuana and its effect on your teeth, give us a call or stop by our office. We’ll be happy to help!