Dr Kshama Chandan explains the correlation of Marijuana and oral health
- Everyone is aware of the effect of smoking cigarettes on the body and the oral cavity but in reality, it's not just smoking cigarettes but also smoking Marijuana that slowly degrades and damages the body and the oral cavity.
Are you someone who smokes Marijuana often? Then maybe it's time to rethink and consider all the ill-effects it's causing you and your oral health.
Let’s face it.Whether or not doctors personally approve of marijuana, this drug has become a part of life for millions of people. Medical marijuana is now legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana use is ballooning in every segment of the population.
Everyone is aware of the effect of smoking cigarettes on the body and the oral cavity but in reality, it's not just smoking cigarettes but also smoking Marijuana that slowly degrades and damages the body and the oral cavity. Marijuana smoke consists of toxic elements that cause damage to the walls of the lungs and the human body and compared to a cigarette, Marijuana puts on four times more layers of tar inside the lungs.
But let’s look at it’s effects on your oral health? With inhalation and continuous cannabis smoking, there are many more complications such as periodontal problems, Xerostomia (dryness of the mouth), and leukoplakia. Also, the danger of neck and mouth cancer increases.
Even though it is banned in our country, Marijuana is still easily and legally available in many countries and in many forms. With the sudden spike in the use of Marijuana, cases of head and neck cancer types have also increased drastically.
With so much damage, one most common disorder that happens is Xerostomia (dryness of the mouth). With no saliva production, often, the oral cavity becomes the hub for many other oral problems.
Leukoedema is another common disorder that is common in people who smoke. However, there is very less evidence if this happens due to irritation or because of the cannabis itself.
Other disorders often associated with marijuana smoking include gingival enlargement,erythroplakia, inflammation of the oral mucosa, hyperkeratosis of the tissues and leukoplakia (cannabis stomatitis) . Smoking cannabis poses effects of being immunosuppressive, contributing to the increased risk of oral cancers.
Recent studies have even shown how cannabis smoking can especially cause periodontal problems. Though no effect shows up in the initial stage but with the addictive effects later growing to be a habit, periodontal problems are sure to occur.
In a recent study conducted by the ADA, another histormetric experiment conducted on lab rats showed an increase in alveolar bone loss. Apart from these experiments, other researchers have even demonstrated how certain microbiota can affect oral health due to the use of some contaminated marijuana, creating a negative impact on the pathological environment of the oral cavity.
Furthermore, the intoxicated user might pose difficulties for the dentists, such as paranoia, hyperactivity, and anxiety. Certain health issues such as increased heart rate and other heart and lung issues may make the use of local anaesthesia difficult. In some cases, the doctor might have to delay the process of treatment due to excess anxiety putting the patient in the risk of irreversible tooth damage.
If you smoke marijuana for medical or recreational reasons, there are several strategies that can help treat and/or prevent dental problems. These include:
- Practicing excellent oral hygiene including brushing each time you eat
- Eating healthy food
- Using mouth wash specifically formulated to increase moisture in your mouth
- Avoiding mouth wash with alcohol
- Decreasing your intake of carbohydrates
- Decreasing your intake of sugar
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding carbonated beverages except for carbonated water
- Having regular dental cleanings and examinations
- Talking to a dental health care provider for tips to ensure better oral health
“Marijuana use is here to stay and we, as dentists, have to deal with it.”- states Dr Kshama, a leading dental practitioner with a Master’s degree in Advanced Prosthodontics. Dr Kshama Chandan is running her private practice at ‘House of Tooth’ in Mumbai and continues to provide the best quality dental care to all her patients.
Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist was involved in the creation of this content.