NOV 10, 2022 12:14 PM PST

Cannabis and your teeth

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

While most cannabis consumers probably think a good deal about how cannabis affects their overall health, they probably do not give a lot of thought as to how weed affects their teeth. If they think about it at all, they probably assume that weed has no effect on oral health. But does it?

It turns out, it does. Since cannabis has become increasingly legal, dentists are seeing more patients who range from being high during their visits to a willingness to discuss their cannabis use. Showing up to a dentist’s appointment concerns dentists, in particular, as there is a correlation between the combined effect of cannabis and anesthesia on the central nervous system.

Additionally, other studies have found a relationship between cannabis use negatively impacting dental health, specifically linking to gum bleeding, loose teeth, and gum disease. These studies note that the risks and effects are similar to that of smoking tobacco.

However, at the same, time, other dentists report that patients consuming cannabis can be beneficial for their health, since the THC and/or CBD is associated with providing pain relief and relaxation which is crucial for being able to tolerate procedures. Additionally, THC and CBD can help with added tolerance for pain and discomfort following procedures, helping the patient to recover more quickly.

As with many other conditions related to cannabis use, much of this – positive effects as well as negative – is affected by lifestyle, frequency, the strength of the dosages, and the age at which the user began consumption.

If a user is at increased risk of poor oral health, they should consult with their dental health professional prior to overindulging in weed, particularly smoking it, particularly if they start to develop adverse effects that could affect them over the long term.

 

 

Sources: Harvard Medical School, NIH, University of Illinois Chicago

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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