The Ontario Dental Association in its recent publishing is warning about marijuana effects on oral health. Here is a short read, the bottom line:
- First OFF- just like tobacco smoking, it is causing dry mouth, which contributes to an increased risk of cavities, gum disease and eventually, more serious issues like stomatitis – an inflammation of the mouth and lips, or an overgrowth of the gums.
- Although people who smoke marijuana don’t generally smoke it as often as someone who smokes cigarettes, they do tend to hold the smoke in their mouths and lungs a bit longer. Marijuana also burns at a higher temperature than tobacco, meaning there is an increased risk of heat damage to the inside of your mouth.
- Marijuana smoke also contains more carcinogens(cancer-causing factors) than tobacco smoke.
- Eating marijuana would prevent the smoking-related issues — since most edibles are consumed in tiny quantities, like a single chocolate square, dentists don’t seem to be worried a lot about the sugar quantities one will be consuming with that little edible. However, for regular users, in addition to bad oral hygiene, this could become a significant issue as well. Vaping may also help, as the marijuana itself isn’t combusted, but sadly vape contains other chemicals that aren’t less harmful.
We at Smile Doctors recommend drinking a lot of water to help deal with a dry mouth after smoking, as well as to help wash away acid produced by sugary edibles. It’s important for patients when they arrive at their appointment, to inform their dentist if they have consumed marijuana that same day. Marijuana can elevate heart rate causing a possible drug interaction with Local Anesthetic – “the numbing shot”, which also can cause faster heart rate.
Now that it’s legal, no one should hesitate to tell their dentist. Talk to us (your dentist), we can help you understand the risks of pot use and properly monitor your oral health for any unintended consequences. It’s really important to let your dentist know not just about your use on a long-term basis but also to inform if you’ve used it right before your appointment.