Can Medical Cannabis Affect Your Teeth? Serena Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Industry: Medical

Clairemont, San Diego (PRUnderground) October 9th, 2017

Now that medical Cannabis is legal in California, we are bound to see more people consuming it. Without taking sides on the implications of this, we went ahead and did some research on regards of how this can affect your teeth. Here at Serena Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are worried about your overall health, so we did our research about this subject that might interest you.

Even though smoking medical marijuana is unlikely to increase your risk of developing oral cancer, there are still some dental hazards medical Cannabis patients should be wary of. Though varied, these hazards all stem from a single cause: dry mouth, or “cottonmouth,” which is a common side effect of Cannabis smoke inhalation.

When Cannabinoids (such as THC) bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors located in the jaw’s submandibular glands, the glands lose their ability to receive input from the parasympathetic nervous system, disrupting normal saliva production. The result? Dry mouth.

It’s important to take dry mouth seriously because this “mild” condition is anything but. Chronic dry mouth – technically known as xerostomia, from the Greek for “xeros” (“dry”) and “stoma” (“mouth”) – can open the door to a host of negative health effects, including:

  • Decreased or altered the sense of taste.
  • Difficulty swallowing and speaking clearly.
  • Sore, crusty, cracked skin at the corners of the mouth.
  • A sore throat.
  • Dental plaque accumulation.

Dental plaque, a build-up of bacteria which appears as a slimy white or yellow substance, is of particular concern because it can lead to:

  • Cavities and tooth decay, known as dental caries from the Latin for “rotten.” Untreated decay and cavities will continue to worsen with time, which might eventually necessitate a costly and unpleasant root canal or tooth extraction. In addition to causing a substantial amount of pain, tooth decay can also lead to halitosis (chronic foul breath) and infection.
  • Gum disease, which is also referred to as periodontal disease. Some common types of gum disease include:
  1. Gingivitis – Inflammation (“-itis”) of the gums. Warning signs include swelling, soreness, discoloration, tenderness, and bleeding.
  2. Periodontitis (Pyorrhea) – Inflammation of the periodontium, or tissue around the teeth. Warning signs include bad breath, unpleasant taste, loosening of the teeth, and the formation of abscesses, or small pockets of pus.

Some plaque build-up is normal and occurs naturally in everyone. However, Cannabis users have an increased susceptibility due to frequent dry mouth.

Therefore, medical marijuana patients should be extra-diligent when it comes to scheduling regular dental cleanings with our San Diego dentist specialist.

The American Dental Association recommends at least one annual teeth cleaning at a minimum, so Cannabis patients may want to consider scheduling a cleaning every six months.

To read more about how Does Medical Marijuana Usage Affect Oral Health & Hygiene? Visit our website or chat with our experts.

About Serena San Diego Dentist

Serena Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers top quality of dentistry in Clairemont, San Diego at affordable pricing! Dr. Serena Kurt has created more than 20,000 crowns and veneers during her 20 years of professional experience.

As your official Clairemont, San Diego dentist and dental implant provider, Dr. Serena Kurt will ensure that you get only the finest and most suitable dental care that you cannot simply find anywhere else!

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