Cannabis’s popularity has exploded in recent years. Once thought of as strictly a recreational substance, it is now being used to treat a variety of medical conditions, many of them affecting oral health. Read on to learn a few of the pros and cons of cannabis use.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to walk into a care center and purchase medical marijuana without a prescription from a doctor. Many patients recovering from dental surgery have been choosing to go this route instead of taking potentially addictive medications that often come with debilitating side effects. This can however be a catch-22, as marijuana can often harm the health of the gums and teeth1.
Smoking is, of course, the most common way of consuming cannabis, It is also, unfortunately, the most harmful, especially in regards to oral health2. Smoke is inhaled at a very high temperature, which has a drying effect (often referred to by smokers as “cotton mouth.” A dry mouth is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which of course increases the likelihood of cavities and gum disease. Furthermore, people under the influence of marijuana are more likely to indulge in junk food, compounding these negative effects.
There are plenty of benefits to be considered as well. Marijuana is non habit forming, and its use may reduce swelling and inflammation. It is also known to have a calming effect, which can be very helpful for people who suffer from dental-related anxiety.
If a patient is going to use marijuana, it is best to go with one of the many alternative methods to smoking (ie food, topical creams, etc.). This will allow them to reap the benefits without causing unneeded harm to the mouth. As always, proper research and reliable professional advice are highly recommended to anyone planning on using marijuana either medically or recreationally.
- “College of Dentistry.” Cannabis and Its Impact on Oral Health | College of Dentistry | University of Illinois Chicago, https://dentistry.uic.edu/news-stories/cannabis-and-its-impact-on-oral-health/.
- Futch, Dr. Scott F. “Effects of Marijuana Use on Oral Health.” Absolute Dental, 11 Oct. 2021, https://www.absolutedental.com/blog/effects-of-marijuana-use-on-oral-health.
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Article Title: The Positive and Negative Effects Of Cannabis On Oral Health