Cannabis Smoking Linked to Periodontal Disease

Many people are under the false assumption that Marijuana is a completely benign substance. Cannabis, also known as Marijuana, has been receiving a lot of press in the US in regards to it’s medical uses and benefits.

As of June 2016, 25 states in the US, and the District of Columbia (Washington DC), have legalized Marijuana for medical use while 4 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. An important fact is being overlooked, or perhaps omitted, which is that long-term cannabis consumption has been linked to periodontal disease (gum disease) in several studies.

Although cannabis consumption does not have many of the adverse health consequences linked with tobacco smoking such as heart disease, cancer, and emphysema, it is not as harmless as it is often to be made out to be. The studies linking Cannabis use to Gum Disease found that “users were three times more likely to have significant periodontal attachment loss than non-smokers of cannabis.”

There are several other factors that contribute to gum disease. If the cannabis user has any of the following indicators for gum disease perhaps they should rethink the benefits and disadvantages of their habit. According to the American Academy of Periodontology the following are Gum Disease Risk Factors:

  • Age – with increased age comes increased chances of periodontal issues
  • Smoking/Tobacco Use – is one of the biggest causes of periodontal disease world wide
  • Genetics – genetic testing can nip this in the bud, early detection is a great benefit
  • Stress – makes it more difficult for the body to fight off any infections, including those that cause gum disease
  • Medications – when taking any medications make sure to ask your health care provider for any and all possible side effects, many meds have an impact on oral health
  • Clenching or Grinding teeth – stresses out connective tissue in the jaw, worsening periodontal disease
  • Other Systemic Diseases – any conditions which cause inflammatory issues will worsen gum disease
  • Poor Nutrition and Obesity – the body needs a strong immune system in order to fight off infection, poor health will compromise an immune system

If you or a loved one has any questions regarding Periodontal disease and your health please contact our office and schedule an appointment.