It’s a well-known fact that smoking cigarettes leads to oral diseases. However, a study conducted in New Zealand revealed that people who smoke cannabis are also at a greater risk of having problems with their teeth and gums, requiring them to seek a Dental Services Beaver Dam WI, professional for treatment more often. Here’s more information about the study and what people can do to minimize the effect marijuana use has on oral health.
Study on Cannabis Use and Oral Health
As noted previously, the study was conducted in New Zealand and followed 903 participants starting at around age 3. The participants in the study were questioned about their cannabis use at four separate points in their lives, starting at age 18 and ending at age 32, and were given dental exams twice.
About a fifth of the respondents who admitted to using the drug began showing signs of gum disease in their twenties. By the time they had reached their thirties, a third of participants who used marijuana had periodontal disease. At the study’s end, the researchers concluded that smoking marijuana increases a person’s risk of getting this oral disease by 60 percent.
Cause of Periodontal Disease
It’s unknown why smoking marijuana leads to the development of gum disease. However, there are a couple of factors that could be in play. The heat from the marijuana cigarette may destroy gum tissues in the same way that heat from a regular cigarette does. The smoke itself may also dry out gum tissue, making it more susceptible to attacks from oral bacteria.
Preventing Gum Disease
Cannabis users will have to take extra steps to minimize any damage the use of the drug can do to their teeth and gums. In addition to brushing and flossing religiously, they may need to use a medicated mouthwash to keep bacteria at bay. If they are experiencing dry mouth, then keeping the mouth moist by drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production can also help keep bacteria from damaging oral tissues.
People who smoke marijuana should make an appointment with a Dental Services Beaver Dam WI, office such as Dentistry of Wisconsin and discuss the best ways to keep their mouths healthy.