Dental Effects of Marijuana Use – Mississauga Dentist

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana has many names. Some of them include weed, pot, Mary Jane, grass and so on. The appearance is a grey and greenish mix of dried and shredded leaves and flowering parts of the hemp plant. The hemp plant’s scientific name is Cannabis Sativa.

Usage

Marijuana is increasingly being used for both recreational purposes and to help with mental and physical health. When used for treatment it is referred to as medical marijuana. The main reason for prescriptions of the drug is to help with pain or pain management. Issues such as severe headaches or migraines, cancer, and long-term conditions can be improved with the use of the drug.

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Dental Effects

The common ways of consumption are in hand-rolled wrapping papers, water pipes or bongs, in teas, and edible food formats such as cookies or brownies.

A University of Columbia study provides evidence that recreational marijuana use increases the risk of developing tooth loss and gum disease. Specifically, the study found that frequent use of the drug can double the risk of periodontal disease. When it is left untreated, periodontal disease results in gum inflammation, gum loss and eventual tooth loss. The study also found that use of hash oil and hashish puts users at the same risk as smoking the drug.

Protect Your Mouth

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While the amount of studies related to marijuana use is still low, precautions can be taken from the study results. To reduce the risk of developing gum disease or periodontal disease, regular oral care is required. Ensuring a routine of flossing and brushing teeth at least twice a day will help lessen the chances of getting gum disease or reducing the effects of gum disease.

Let your dentist know if you use marijuana and how frequently you are using it. This information will help your dental care provider to monitor your oral health for any changes.

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