Can Cannabis Affect Your Oral Health? What To Know

More and more locations are not only decriminalizing cannabis for personal use but are also making it legal in certain amounts. Many states now recognize cannabis as a legitimate medication for certain medical disorders. Cannabis is a drug that is used for both recreational and medical purposes. While the effects of cannabis use on oral health are not fully understood, there may be some negative impacts. Here are some of the potential oral health effects of cannabis use: 

Dry mouth: Cannabis use can cause dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. This occurs because cannabis can decrease the production of saliva, which helps to wash away harmful bacteria in the mouth. Dry mouth can lead to an increased risk of decay, gum diseases, and may even bad breath.

Gum disease: Cannabis use has been linked to an increased risk of gum disease. This may be due to the fact that cannabis use can suppress the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off bacterial infections in the mouth. For example, cannabis users may be more prone to abscesses of the gums.

Oral cancer: While the link between cannabis use and oral cancer is not fully understood, there may be an increased risk of oral cancer in those who use cannabis. Oral cancer can be cured if caught early enough. However, the signs of this type of cancer may be difficult to detect.

Tooth decay: Cannabis use has been associated with an increased risk of tooth decay. This may be due to the fact that cannabis can stimulate the appetite, leading to an increased intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages. However, that would suggest that a patient's eating habits are not in their control.

Oral infections: Cannabis use can also increase the risk of oral infections, such as candidiasis, which is a fungal infection that can occur in the mouth.

It is important to note that the negative oral health effects of cannabis use may be influenced by factors such as the frequency and duration of use, the method of consumption, and other lifestyle factors such as poor oral hygiene. If you use cannabis, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. To find out more about how cannabis can affect your oral health, speak with your local dentist.