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How Does Marijuana Affect Your Gum Health?

Posted on 6/15/2016 by Leslie Davis
A close up of a marijuana joint held by a man.A recent study has found that marijuana could significantly increase your risk of severe gum disease.

While it has been well known that tobacco could raise the risk of periodontal disease, not much has been known about the effects of marijuana - until now.

Research Regarding Marijuana and Gum Health

In 2008, New Zealand researchers completed a study that was published by the American Medical Association. The study included just over 900 people and began at age 18. Their oral health was assessed, and each participant was asked about their marijuana use.

The participants were then divided into two groups - a group of marijuana smokers and a group that did not smoke marijuana. Oral health assessments were repeated once every couple of years until the participants reached the age of 32.

The group that smoked marijuana did so an average of about 41 times per year. The findings indicated that these frequent marijuana smokers were three times more likely to develop severe gum disease as nonsmokers.

While about 25% of people in this group had significant gum disease, only about 6% of people in the non-smoking group developed a severe form of the disease during the same time frame.

Why You Should Care
Unfortunately, this research probably isn't enough to discourage people to stop using marijuana, but it is important that they know just how dangerous gum disease can be. More evidence than ever is connecting gum disease with other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, and premature births.

If smoking marijuana increases the risk of gum disease, it will essentially increase the risk of developing one of these conditions, as well. This should be enough to make anyone consider the impact that their habits are having on their overall health.

If you have questions about how your gums have been affected by your marijuana habit, contact our office today.

The Arizona Institute for Periodontics & Dental Implants
Leslie I. Davis, BDS, DDS, PC
13802 W Camino del Sol Suite 103
Sun City West, AZ 85375-4486

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