Although cannabis is a widely used drug and is used to help aid with some chronic illnesses, studies have found a correlation between smoking marijuana and oral health issues. Understanding how cannabis affects the teeth can help users seek preventative and treatment methods to protect themselves from developing worsening oral health over time.
Because smoking marijuana dries out the mouth, smoking excessive amounts can lead to xerostomia, which can cause even more oral complications if left untreated. Xerostomia disallows the mouth to effectively clean itself due to decreased salivary production. Because saliva washes away leftover food particles and bacteria between the teeth, it’s essential to have healthy salivary glands to prevent the teeth from developing cavities, which could eventually lead to gum disease.
Smoking marijuana, or consuming cannabis in the form of food products, often leads to an increased appetite and craving for sugary foods due to the amount of THC it contains. Too much sugary food can lead to cavities since the sugar turns into bacteria that attacks the teeth.
Smoking marijuana can also lead to gingival enlargement, which is an indicator of gingival disease. Individuals who suffer from this issue may experience discomfort, bad breath, and issues speaking and chewing.
Those who regularly use marijuana at an early age are more prone to developing periodontal disease at an early age. In fact, studies have shown a connection between marijuana use and periodontitis in individuals as early as 32-years-old. When individuals suffer from periodontitis, bacteria attacks and depletes the underlying jawbone as well as the periodontal ligaments that keep the tooth and bone intact. Therefore, excessive cannabis use can eventually lead to alveolar bone loss.
Because cannabis contains most of the same carcinogens as tobacco, frequent users may develop the same health issues that tobacco users face, which includes the possible risk of cancer. It’s very important for users to maintain a healthy oral care regimen to prevent further complications from negatively affecting their teeth over time.
At McBride Dental, we offer a number of services for our patients who desire to maintain a healthy, strong smile for a lifetime. We encourage our patients to visit us at least twice per year so that we can perform X-rays, deep cleanings, and other procedures to help keep the teeth in great shape. For those who may experience tooth loss, we also offer cosmetic dentistry as well as one-day dental implants to help them recover the beautiful smile they can be proud of.
Our number one goal is to help prevent our patients from needing expensive and painful treatment later on. Aside from visiting our office twice per year, we also provide our patients with special tips to implement in their daily oral care routines to maintain a healthy smile all year long. If you are in the San Diego area and are looking to schedule an appointment, call us today at 760-471-1003.