Nearly everyone has a vice or two and each one poses a threat to dental health. Tobacco use, alcohol and eating processed foods are all behaviors linked to dental problems such as cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. For decades pot smokers erroneously defended their favorite for being one of the healthiest vices around, but the truth is the behavior can also contribute to dental problems and irreparable harm.
Marijuana comes from a naturally growing plant that is nearly as old as time itself. Archeologists have found proof that cannabis was used to create fiber as long as 10,000 years ago and proof that puffing was part of ceremonies for thousands of years. Beginning in the early 20th century many countries criminalized the herb and the battle against that classification is fought on a daily basis.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that marijuana is the nations' most widely used illegal drug. Despite the laws on use, the fact is that marijuana is considered to be one of the safest drugs available. A study out of Britain has shown that alcohol, not marijuana, is considered to be the most dangerous drug on the market and is deadlier than heroin or crack cocaine. Despite it being fairly safe, individuals who get too much of the sweet herb are putting their dental health at risk.
Studies have shown that alcohol is nearly four times worse than pot in regards to causing bodily harm. Although weed does have a lower risk factor to health, habitual users are a greater risk of compromising their dental health.
New Zealand research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the effects of marijuana smoking by analyzing the general health of over 900 adults who had ingested marijuana at least 40 times since turning 18 years of age. The findings showed that habitual pot-smokers have a greater risk of developing "periodontal disease by age 32," even for non-smokers (WebMD.com). The connection was true even for group participants who opted against tobacco use
Scientists from Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study analyzed the dental health of over 903 male and female participants born between 1972 and 1973 and ranked them according to pot use as defined by non-pot smoker, some use, or regular use. Aside from those answers, scientists delivered dental exams focusing on measuring gum tissue. Their work found that that habitual pot smokers had a three time greater chance of developing periodontal attachment loss and gum disease than their non-smoking counterparts.
As the dental industry based more of their findings on scientific research not ancient superstition, the relationship between smoking tobacco and oral health has been exposed. This recent study was the first directly focusing on smoking weed and the impact on gum disease. The hypothesis of the weed/gum connection may be related to the body's natural response to inflammation potentially triggered by pot smoke.
Across the nation the legalization of marijuana has become a hot button issue across the nation. There has been progress in relationship in the legalization of marijuana with 16 states and Washington D.C. approving weed use for medicinal reasons, recreational users still have to hide their use from prying eyes.
Advocates for the naturally growing plant encourage using the herb for medicinal purposes as when ingested weed has been effective in relieving the discomfort associated with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, sleeping disorders, TMJ, anxiety and myriad of other conditions. Various studies have indicated that cannabis can block the progress of metastatic breast cancer, lessen nausea associated with chemotherapy, may ease chronic nerve pain and can be used to alleviate discomfort associated with a slew of medical conditions.
The newest findings in regards to pot were all based on lighting the herb on fire and inhaling the smoke. 1-800-Dentist advises medical marijuana users concerned about their oral health to tap into some of the other forms of the medication.
The herb also comes in include pill form, baked goods, lollipops or opting to use a vaporizer instead of traditional smoking. Patients can explore their local "farmacies" not only for product selection but also for information on the safest methods for consuming the plant.
Habitual marijuana users concerned about the effects of smoking the drug in relation to their oral health should not only focus their efforts on practicing exceptional oral hygiene, eating healthy foods and drinking water, but also seeking the advice of a dental care provider to get the inside scoop. A dentist will be able to diagnosis dental problems and implement the dental treatments needed to correct the issue and those looking to find a dentist are invited to call 1-800-Dentist. 24/7.