Is Smoking Marijuana Negative For Your Teeth?


As far more states across the US are legalizing marijuana, its consumption is becoming much less taboo and far more persons are speaking with their dentists about the dangers of smoking in regards to gum and tooth wellness. This has caught the oral wellness professionals largely off guard, as really couple of research have been performed in this region, as opposed to with other items such as tobacco. Of the research at the moment published, most had been poorly performed or rely on epidemiological information rather than far more robust clinical trials. On the other hand, according to a 2008 assessment paper on the topic, it was concluded that prevalent side effects of marijuana smoking incorporate xerostomia (chronic dry mouth), leukoedema (white, filmy mucous layers), elevated incidence of periodontal illness, elevated prevalence and density of the fungus Candida albicans, and oral cancers.

The quick answer to is smoking marijuana terrible for your teeth is, of course, yes. As it would be for smoking something. Most physicians would recommend that if you are going to use marijuana then you ought to consume it orally or vaporize it to get the valuable effects with much less wellness danger. On the other hand, that is not to say that vaping is danger free of charge (in this case, we’re referring to vaping oil, not dry flower.) Some have essentially identified that vape oils containing glycol or glycerin may possibly have cariogenic properties. Although most research performed are seeking at vaping tobacco, a lot of cannabis oil vape cartridges incorporate these two components as cutting agents in order to make their concentrate far more vape-capable, so the danger is nevertheless present in the absence of nicotine. If you want to keep away from vaping any dangerous cutting agents, you will likely want to attempt switching to a complete-spectrum extract alternatively.

On the other hand, this is also a matter of individual decision, so it is relevant to perhaps rephrase the query to “how terrible is smoking for your teeth?” To investigate this query additional, we have summarized numerous scientific research and evaluations with regards to marijuana use and oral wellness to get an thought of just how terrible it can be for frequent customers.

Doctor dentist showing patient's teeth on X-ray

iStock / alfexe

The Side Effects Of Marijuana Smoking On Oral Wellness

A complete assessment from 2005 in the Australian Dental Journal concluded that marijuana abusers commonly had poorer all round oral wellness than non-customers. This integrated an elevated danger of tooth decay, periodontal illness, and oral infections as nicely as greater plaque scores and much less healthier gums. The study also cited a situation exceptional to marijuana smokers identified as ‘cannabis stomatitis,’ in which the thin lining of cells about the mouth undergoes adjustments. This course of action can lead to modest, chronic lesions in the tissues, and enhance the danger for oral cancers. On the other hand, it ought to be noted that the similar study concluded that “current understanding on the effects of cannabis on periodontal wellness is inadequate.”

A far more current study from the Journal of Periodontology (2017) looked at information from 1,938 dental individuals who had been asked about marijuana use and corrected for tobacco, age, and alcohol use. The study looked at probing depth (an indicator of periodontal illness) and tooth decay and concluded that each had been considerably greater amongst frequent customers than non-customers. A mechanism was not proposed in the study, and though multivariate evaluation did rule out lots of life-style-connected components it is tough to imply causation primarily based on the solutions of the study. 

How Really serious Is The Threat?

Each research discussed above concluded that marijuana smoking could be tied to decreased oral wellness and tooth decay, and with what is identified about tobacco smoking this appears intuitively plausible. On the other hand, not all research agree. A modest 2009 study in Chile looked at adolescents who admitted to smoking marijuana on a regular basis and identified no proof of elevated periodontal illness. Related conclusions had been produced in a 2011 study on the impact of numerous diverse drugs on oral wellness, and identified that only opiates had been considerably connected with any reduce in oral wellness more than a 1-year study period.

What About Oral Cancers?

Plaque of the patient, stone. Dentistry treatment of dental plaque, professional oral hygiene. The concept of harm to smoking and cleaning teeth

iStock / undefined undefined

An additional key concern with regards to smoking any substance is oral and throat cancers. The causative effects of smoking tobacco and establishing cancers are nicely documented, and the mechanisms have been nicely described. On the other hand, for marijuana causation is tougher to prove at this time due to a lack of information and trials. Numerous research have indicated that frequent marijuana smokers are far more prone to numerous forms of cancer, mainly of the mouth and neck.

The 2005 assessment from Australia quoted earlier also discussed oral cancers, stating that chronic marijuana smokers have an elevated danger of each leukoplakia (white patches on the gums and tongue) and oral cancers. They sited carcinogenic compounds identified in the smoke, which includes aromatic hydrocarbons, benzopyrene, and nitrosamines, all of which are about twice as abundant in marijuana smoke than cigarette smoke. The study also implicated the diverse solutions utilized to smoke marijuana than tobacco as far more dangerous, which includes not utilizing filters, breathing in far more deeply, and holding the smoke in. On the other hand, due to limitations in the research that had been reviewed, the authors could not make any powerful conclusions, mainly due to the fact the effects of smoking marijuana and tobacco could not be separated in the study population.

Other evaluations have identified no clear association involving marijuana and oral cancers.  On the other hand, most research have some degree of self-confidence that marijuana smoking will lead to greater prices of oral and throat cancer, specifically in young adults. On the other hand, though far more proof is necessary, early findings recommend that smoking cannabis may possibly have a decrease danger of causing cancer than tobacco. That becoming mentioned, some problems with present research and information incorporate:

  • A important quantity of cannabis buyers also consume tobacco.
  • The common tobacco smoker consumes a higher quantity of tobacco than the quantity of marijuana smoked by the typical cannabis customer.

What Can I Do To Limit Wellness Issues?

So, though the science with regards to marijuana and the wellness of your teeth and mouth is far from conclusive, there is adequate information to indicate that it is smart to be cautious. Primarily based on present investigation, we have created this quick list of techniques to hold oneself protected although nevertheless enjoying the positive aspects of marijuana use.

  • Think about other solutions of consumption such as edibles, vaporizers (don’t forget that this is not a entirely danger-free of charge selection either), tinctures, or oils.
  • Keep away from adding tobacco to joints, or think about stopping utilizing tobacco altogether.
  • Be confident to retain greater than typical oral hygiene.
  • Use Biotene®, or other dry mouth items to protect against chronic dry mouth which can lead to tooth decay.
  • Ask you medical doctor about oral probiotics, which have been shown to boost ‘good bacteria’ in the mouths of smokers.
  • See you dentist yearly, or far more regularly is you suspect something is incorrect.
  • Speak to your medical doctors and dentists about your marijuana use (even if you reside in an illegal state) so they are conscious of the added wellness dangers or precautions required.


Latest posts