Your Mouth and Cannabis, What you Need to Know!

Covid-19 has worsened the Impact that Cannabis has on our Oral Health!

As the use of cannabis has continuously grown especially during the Increased stressors of the Covid-19 pandemic so have Oral Health Problems and It’s not a coincidence.

The impact of cannabis on your oral health is relatively a mystery compared to smoking and chewing tobacco.  From our kid’s health class to the alarming pictures of a smoker’s mouth (stained teeth, gum disease, a plaque build-up, red and white spots) on the smoker’s mouths along with the oral cancer warnings.

The Increased availability of Cannabis in various forms over the last few years has Increased cases of periodontal complications, leukoplakia, xerostomia, and various mouth or neck cancers.

What are the Oral Effects of Cannabis products?
 
Marijuana smoking, in particular, has been associated with poor oral health leading to; xerostomia (dry mouth), leukoedema, gingival enlargement, and other oral health conditions especially in users under the age of 50.  The immunosuppressive implications of cannabis may lead to a higher likelihood of oral candidiasis which becomes worse with poor oral hygiene.

According to the ADA, a number of studies have shown a relationship between cannabis use and periodontal disease even after adjusting for other factors like cigarette smoking, alcohol use, social status, and other health issues.  The distribution between users and nonusers was staggering with extremely higher distributions of Periodontitis among frequent users and at Increasingly younger ages as well.  There was also another study conducted on rats that showed a staggering increase in alveolar bone loss when exposed to marijuana smoke.

Another investigation of participants in the Population Assessment of Tobacco’s health study resulted in further evidence that the use of cannabis results in poor overall health, adverse oral health conditions, and various diseases.  It’s Important to remember that cannabis may affect everyone differently and research is still evolving.  Yet despite this, the staggering results toward worsening oral care conditions among cannabis users are troubling especially when comparing the frequency of use, the strength of the product, and the age that consumption starts.  Also, despite varied oral hygiene practices, and other drug use the results showed consistent patterns and oral health problems.

Here’s what you can expect of Cannabis users

  • Periodontal disease
  • Increased likelihood of post-surgical dry socket
  • xerostomia (dry mouth), which has many different health Implications
  • Regular users have an increased risk of; plaque build-up, gingivitis, and tooth decay
  • Increase appetite and cravings can lead to poor eating choices that ultimately result in tooth decay
  • Stained teeth and bad breath
  • Studies show a relationship between poor oral health progression and cannabis use
  • Mouth Lesions that lead to Inflammation in the mouth
  • A potentially weakened Immune system and more susceptible to oral infections
  • Increased bleeding and a lack of focus can have direct implications during your dental appointment, make sure you tell your dentist if you are a cannabis user and If you’ve used the product recently
  • Carcinogenic exposure (particularly with smoking),  may lead to dysplastic changes and premalignant lesions within oral mucosa

Neurological, Behavioural, Cardiovascular, and Other Health Problems!

A large number of people don’t realize that Cannabis shares a number of carcinogens and respiratory pathologies with tobacco and therefore can greatly Impact your cardiovascular health.  Some Immediate cardiovascular signs include increased heart rate and microcirculation disruptions that can lead to a stroke or myocardial infarction.

Cannabis can also have neurological and behavioral Implications like cognitive/psychomotor impairment, or long-term disruption of brain development, addiction, and systemic health distress.  Among Millenials, there have been associations between the use of these products and psychotic disorders like schizophrenic episodes and suicide.

Conclusion (smoking cannabis has similar impacts on your oral health as smoking)!

The research on the relationship between oral health problems and Cannabis users has grown significantly over the last couple of years.  Cannabis has a similar impact on our oral health as Tobacco despite the perception that It’s a natural and safe product that makes people feel better.

The latest research studies and Investigations have cleared up miscommunications or unanswered questions but we are still a ways away from fully understanding the impact Cannabis has on our oral health and raising that awareness that we have for Tobacco products.

If you’d like to check out our other blogs or contact our dental clinic in London Ontario reach out to us at [email protected] or call 519-474-0220.  You can also book your personal consultation through our website below!

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