Modern studies led us to believe that smoking marijuana, just like smoking tobacco, will negatively impact our oral health and lead to severe oral issues. Addicted pot smokers will frequently get gum disease and inflammation that they need to get treated immediately. But we need to also keep in mind a general profile of a person addicted to marijuana. These people are more likely to smoke tobacco, consume alcohol, make fewer visits to their dentist, and don’t brush or floss their teeth regularly, all practices that will eventually lead to dental issues.
Times are changing, and now almost everyone in the first world country is using marijuana regardless of the reasons. This shift will allow professionals to conduct more accurate and thorough research that will lead to conclusive results and tell us precisely how much smoking marijuana impacts our dental health.
Most Common Oral Issues marijuana Smokers Encounter
The smoke that we inhale when smoking marijuana is pretty hot, and when the gums get exposed to this level of heat for too long, it can irritate the gums and lead to inflammation, bleeding, swelling, and high sensitivity. Tobacco smoke is very similar to marijuana smoke since both smoke contains carcinogens that cause gum disease. This is the precise reason why people who smoke pot daily should take extra care of their teeth and gums so that they can avoid getting gum or periodontal disease. Click here to find out more about gum disease.
Unfortunately, the primary problem isn’t just limited to the hot smoke that pot smokers inhale. Once they are high enough, they begin to crave ‘sugary munchies.’ Foods and drinks that are in no way healthy for their teeth. Soda, soft, and carbonated sugary drinks will be their choice to satiate their thirst combined with processed, fast food. All these things are best known to add to tooth decay and cavities and are probably the main reason dentists see so many caries [tooth decay] cases in pot smokers.
Pot smokers will experience another common oral problem called xerostomia, or cottonmouth. Smoking marijuana causes the salivary glands to function poorly, leading to dry mouths. The THC present in pot sends signals to our endocannabinoid receptors, limiting saliva production when smoking it. We need saliva to maintain our dental health since it flushes out bacteria, helps us get rid of bad breath, prevents a massive build-up of plaque, slows down the process of tooth decay, and so much more.
Undesired Teeth Color
People who have been smoking for years will have noticed that some of their teeth have lost their natural color after some time. The same happens to regular pot smokers. Over time, their teeth will begin to get stained from the pot smoke. Even if they maintain good oral hygiene and never miss their visits to the dentist, teeth discoloration is inevitable. The only treatment that can help them out at this point is teeth whitening.
Increased Bacteria Presence
A recent study has also discovered that marijuana smoke increases the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. The smoke from cannabis suppresses the mouth’s immune system, allowing bacteria to thrive. The more bacteria there is in your mouth, the higher the chances of developing cavities. If the situation is left untreated for too long, the damage will be irreparable.
Oral Hygiene Practices for Pot Smokers
Now that we have gotten the potential dangers of smoking marijuana out of the way, we can get to the part where we tell you some hygienic dental practices that you can use to protect your teeth from severe damage.
- Never forget to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated throughout the day is a quick, simple way to keep your mouth well-hydrated even when your salivary glands are not functioning to meet your mouth’s requirements. This practice will effectively help you keep your mouth from drying up.
- Never skip on your daily brush and floss, especially for people who smoke tobacco or marijuana. Maintaining the health of your teeth starts with brushing and flossing them daily. It’s a good idea to ask your dentist or search online for strong toothpaste appropriate for smokers. Dental floss is an excellent way to protect your gums. Flossing daily will help your gums stay away from disease and other similar oral problems.
- Reduce your sugar intake. Food and drinks that contain high sugar levels are the worst enemies of your teeth. Limit the amount of sugar you consume daily and try something healthy for your teeth instead.