More Links between Smoking Cannabis and Poor Oral Health Found

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Associations between smoking cannabis and poor oral health have long been known, including increased rates of gum disease. A recent report by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine further confirmed these links.


Cannabis and Poor Oral Health

According to the report, which investigated the association between “frequent recreational cannabis use” with symptoms of gum disease, their findings are consistent with previous reports. Frequency is defined in the report as marijuana or hashish consumption, which occurs at least once per month for a year.

The researchers found an increased rate of periodontitis in frequent cannabis users. Periodontitis is the inflammation and destruction of the gums around the tooth and weakened bone density of the tooth socket.


Confounding Factors

The results of the study, however, may also be influenced by numerous confounding factors including the participants’ alcohol consumption as well as their failure to seek regular professional dental services.

The method of consumption may also need to be clarified in the same manner that the link between tobacco smoking and poor oral health is also influenced by consumption. While cannabis is traditionally smoked, vaping or eating cannabis products are also on the rise. It is possible that these alternative modes of consumption have different effects on overall oral health outcomes, although these are yet to be tested.


Cannabis and Gum Disease

While majority of research indicate links between cannabis use to poor oral health, certain animal studies have suggested that cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis) may protect against bone density loss in periodontitis. This protection is hypothesized to come from the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol.


Still, these studies that show links between smoking cannabis and poor oral health should be enough to make us more careful in the items (or food) we choose to ingest. We suggest that you make your oral health a top priority.

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