MacDonald Ranch Dentist

What Are the Oral Health Implications of Cannabis?

cannabis from a las vegas dispensary

Cannabis use has not only increased in the past few years, but it has grown to the point where it is gradually being legalized throughout the United States.

At the time of writing, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as well as the District of Columbia. Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, is legal in 10 states along with the District of Columbia. California, the most populated state in the country, has legalized cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Whereas, the second most populated state, Texas, is reportedly on its way to reform its marijuana laws.

Marijuana is largely consumed with smoking, which is associated with a deterioration of oral health. As such, it is natural for those in Las Vegas & Henderson to be worried about this aspect with the legalization of marijuana in the Silver State.

Marijuana is Legal in Nevada

A far cry from the days of old, marijuana is legal in Nevada for both medical and recreational purposes. This means that it is easily available through cannabis dispensaries.

These marijuana dispensaries specialize in selling products that contain cannabis compounds such as TCH and CBD. These products include but are not limited to:

  •      Marijuana “flower”, which can be smoked.
  •      Edible and topical oils.
  •      Transdermal patches.
  •      Concentrates.
  •      Vape juices.
  •      Lotions and creams.
  •      Edible products such as brownies, candy bars, candy bites, sugary drinks.

Different Methods of Consumption

As you may have noticed in the list above, while cannabis is largely associated with smoking, it is certainly not the only way that the substance is consumed.

Along with smoking, you can indulge in marijuana consumption through edible products. With that, you can also “vape” marijuana. Other topical and non-oral methods are also used, but they are not as popular.

Similar to everything else that we consume orally, cannabis consumption can affect our oral health.

It is important to keep regular dentist visits for preventive care to make sure that you are maintaining your dental health in an optimal manner.

Oral Hygiene Doesn’t Change

According to the American Dental Association, cannabis consumption, especially through smoking, has been associated with poor oral health. But a definite reason for this association is difficult to ascribe. Generally, the same patients who use marijuana also often use other substances that are detrimental to oral health, such as alcohol and cigarettes.

That being said, regular marijuana use has been associated with the following symptoms:

  •      Smoking marijuana can lead to xerostomia (dry mouth).
  •      Cannabis induces hunger, which causes people to consume more and more sugary or carb-rich foods. This contributes to dental cavities.
  •      Marijuana can cause leukoedema, which is the appearance of white surface lesions in the mouth.
  •      Cannabis consumption can cause gum enlargement and inflammation of the mouth.
  •      Tobacco and cannabis smoke could increase the risk of oral and neck cancer
  •      Coupled with poor dental hygiene, cannabis consumption could provide a more habitable environment to bad bacteria.
  •      Oral consumption of marijuana can lead to periodontal disease, which can cause toothache and tooth loss as well as bleeding and swelling of the gums.
  •      It could also cause patients to lose their alveolar (gum) bone.

While you can use marijuana all you want, it is crucial to take the advice of a dentist and maintain regular visits in order to make sure that your oral health is not being deteriorated.

To make sure that you are steering clear of such issues, contact a dentist in Las Vegas & Henderson who is credible and experienced with handling such issues.

Contact Dr. Ignatowicz today at (702)473-5100, and let us help you maintain effective oral health practices to manage the possible side effects of cannabis consumption.

© Joshua M. Ignatowicz, DMD. All rights reserved.
1070 W Horizon Ridge Parkway #121 Henderson, NV 89012

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