Is Smoking Marijuana Unhealthy For Your Tooth?


As extra states throughout the US are legalizing marijuana, its consumption is changing into much less taboo and extra persons are speaking with their dentists concerning the dangers of smoking with regard to gum and tooth well being. This has caught the oral well being specialists largely off guard, as only a few research have been achieved on this space, not like with different merchandise reminiscent of tobacco. Of the research at present printed, most have been poorly carried out or depend on epidemiological information moderately than extra strong medical trials. Nevertheless, in keeping with a 2008 assessment paper on the topic, it was concluded that frequent negative effects of marijuana smoking embody xerostomia (persistent dry mouth), leukoedema (white, filmy mucous layers), elevated incidence of periodontal illness, elevated prevalence and density of the fungus Candida albicans, and oral cancers.

The brief reply to is smoking marijuana unhealthy to your tooth is, after all, sure. As it could be for smoking something. Most physicians would counsel that if you’re going to use marijuana then you need to devour it orally or vaporize it to get the helpful results with much less well being danger. Nevertheless, that’s to not say that vaping is danger free (on this case, we’re referring to vaping oil, not dry flower.) Some have really discovered that vape oils containing glycol or glycerin might have cariogenic properties. Whereas most research carried out are vaping tobacco, lots of cannabis oil vape cartridges embody these two components as chopping brokers as a way to make their focus extra vape-able, so the danger continues to be current within the absence of nicotine. If you wish to keep away from vaping any dangerous chopping brokers, you’ll in all probability wish to strive switching to a full-spectrum extract as a substitute.

Nevertheless, that is additionally a matter of private alternative, so it’s related to perhaps rephrase the query to “how unhealthy is smoking to your tooth?” To research this query additional, we’ve summarized a number of scientific research and critiques relating to marijuana use and oral well being to get an thought of simply how unhealthy it may be for frequent customers.

Doctor dentist showing patient's teeth on X-ray

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The Facet Results Of Marijuana Smoking On Oral Well being

A complete assessment from 2005 within the Australian Dental Journal concluded that marijuana abusers usually had poorer total oral well being than non-users. This included an elevated danger of tooth decay, periodontal illness, and oral infections in addition to greater plaque scores and fewer wholesome gums. The research additionally cited a situation distinctive to marijuana people who smoke referred to as ‘cannabis stomatitis,’ during which the skinny lining of cells across the mouth undergoes adjustments. This course of can result in small, persistent lesions within the tissues, and improve the danger for oral cancers. Nevertheless, it needs to be famous that the identical research concluded that “present information on the results of cannabis on periodontal well being is insufficient.”

A more moderen research from the Journal of Periodontology (2017) checked out information from 1,938 dental sufferers who have been requested about marijuana use and corrected for tobacco, age, and alcohol use. The research checked out probing depth (an indicator of periodontal illness) and tooth decay and concluded that each have been considerably greater amongst frequent customers than non-users. A mechanism was not proposed within the research, and though multivariate evaluation did rule out many lifestyle-related elements it’s troublesome to indicate causation based mostly on the strategies of the research. 

How Severe Is The Menace?

Each research mentioned above concluded that marijuana smoking could possibly be tied to decreased oral well being and tooth decay, and with what is thought about tobacco smoking this appears intuitively believable. Nevertheless, not all research agree. A small 2009 research in Chile checked out adolescents who admitted to smoking marijuana commonly and located no proof of elevated periodontal illness. Comparable conclusions have been made in a 2011 research on the impact of a number of totally different medicine on oral well being, and located that solely opiates have been considerably related to any lower in oral well being over a 1-year research interval.

What About Oral Cancers?

Plaque of the patient, stone. Dentistry treatment of dental plaque, professional oral hygiene. The concept of harm to smoking and cleaning teeth

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One other main concern relating to smoking any substance is oral and throat cancers. The causative results of smoking tobacco and creating cancers are effectively documented, and the mechanisms have been effectively described. Nevertheless, for marijuana causation is more durable to show at the moment as a consequence of a scarcity of information and trials. Many research have indicated that frequent marijuana people who smoke are extra vulnerable to a number of forms of most cancers, primarily of the mouth and neck.

The 2005 assessment from Australia quoted earlier additionally mentioned oral cancers, stating that persistent marijuana people who smoke have an elevated danger of each leukoplakia (white patches on the gums and tongue) and oral cancers. They sited carcinogenic compounds discovered within the smoke, together with fragrant hydrocarbons, benzopyrene, and nitrosamines, all of that are about twice as plentiful in marijuana smoke than cigarette smoke. The research additionally implicated the totally different strategies used to smoke marijuana than tobacco as extra dangerous, together with not utilizing filters, respiratory in additional deeply, and holding the smoke in. Nevertheless, as a consequence of limitations within the research that have been reviewed, the authors couldn’t make any sturdy conclusions, primarily as a result of the results of smoking marijuana and tobacco couldn’t be separated within the research inhabitants.

Different critiques have discovered no clear affiliation between marijuana and oral cancers.  Nevertheless, most research have a point of confidence that marijuana smoking will result in greater charges of oral and throat most cancers, particularly in younger adults. Nevertheless, though extra proof is required, early findings counsel that smoking cannabis might have a decrease danger of inflicting most cancers than tobacco. That being mentioned, some points with present research and information embody:

  • A big quantity of cannabis customers additionally devour tobacco.
  • The everyday tobacco smoker consumes a larger amount of tobacco than the amount of marijuana smoked by the common cannabis shopper.

What Can I Do To Restrict Well being Considerations?

So, though the science relating to marijuana and the well being of your tooth and mouth is much from conclusive, there may be sufficient information to point that it’s smart to be cautious. Based mostly on present analysis, we’ve developed this brief checklist of how to maintain your self protected whereas nonetheless having fun with the advantages of marijuana use.

  • Contemplate different strategies of consumption reminiscent of edibles, vaporizers (keep in mind that this isn’t a very risk-free possibility both), tinctures, or oils.
  • Keep away from including tobacco to joints, or think about stopping utilizing tobacco altogether.
  • Be sure you keep higher than common oral hygiene.
  • Use Biotene®, or different dry mouth merchandise to forestall persistent dry mouth which might result in tooth decay.
  • Ask you physician about oral probiotics, which have been proven to enhance ‘good micro organism’ within the mouths of people who smoke.
  • See you dentist yearly, or extra continuously is you think something is mistaken.
  • Discuss to your docs and dentists about your marijuana use (even when you reside in an unlawful state) so they’re conscious of the extra well being dangers or precautions vital.


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