Disclaimer: this post is not to judge you based on your life choices. What you do in your free time is your business, not ours. This post is simply to explain health effects.
Many people in the world use marijuana. There are multiple reasons why someone may choose to use it. However, do you know what’s going on in your mouth when you smoke cannabis? Now that it is legal in Canada, part of educating yourself on the health risks includes knowing what it can do to your mouth and teeth.
Ever had that cotton-mouth feeling when smoking pot? People often experience it when high, but it can also last well into the next day, long after the other symptoms of being high have worn off. A dry mouth means a lack of saliva, but a lack of saliva can cause a whole range of problems in your mouth. Saliva plays a really important role in keeping teeth and gums healthy. It washes away plaque and food particles and it also helps to neutralize the acids that lead to erosion of tooth enamel. If the mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, the enamel on the surface of your teeth becomes damaged and teeth can appear worn and shorter, and they may feel increasingly sensitive as they lack the protective coating they once had.
Marijuana and gum disease
Smoking pot can cause the soft-tissue in your mouth to become inflamed and eventually lead to it breaking down. This means painful damage can be done to lips, cheeks, tongue and the roof of the mouth, with severe damage to the gums possibly leading to teeth falling out. Cannabis use is also associated with severe gingivitis. You’ll also put yourself at risk for periodontal disease (some studies show long-term weed smokers had rates over 55%!) and this can lead to failed dental implants.
Cannabis stomatitis is a condition where smoking causes damage to the lining of the mouth. This can lead to oral cancers, which can take the form of nasty sores which don’t go away. They can be extremely painful to treat, and can even be life-threatening in serious cases.
Not so ‘pearly-whites’
It’s probably not surprising to hear smoking anything is going to have a negative impact on the appearance of your teeth. Heavy weed and tobacco smokers alike have teeth can become more worn and yellow than non-smokers, and even the appearance of the gums can be affected. The lack of saliva and increase in decay can also cause bad breath.