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Marijuana linked to gum disease

Heavy cannabis (marijuana) smoking is found to be responsible for more than a third of the new cases of gum disease.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 06, 2008 18:43 IST

People who smoke cannabis are more likely to develop gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.

A new study has found that heavy cannabis smoking was responsible for more than a third of the new cases of gum disease by the age of 32. Gum disease is the second most common cause of tooth loss after tooth decay.

A team of international scientists from University of Otago, King's College London, Duke University and the University of North Carolina tracked the dental health of 1,000 people born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1972 and 1973.

Gum disease has long been linked to cigarette smoking but this is the first study to look specifically at cannabis.

The study, which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, follows work linking cannabis use to mental health problems and lung disease, reported the online edition of BBC News.