Cannabis, also known as marijuana, pot, weed, and a variety of other names, is one of the highest consumed recreational drugs in the world. In Canada, approximately 2.3 million people use the drug. There are nearly as many tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) users as chronic cigarette smokers worldwide, which shows how much it has risen in popularity over the last few decades.
With the legalization of recreational cannabis, it’s important to know the facts about its effects on oral health. Most smokers are unaware of how it can impact oral hygiene and function.
At King Town Dental, we know the risks that smoking places on a person’s oral health, which is why we work with clients to fight against long-term teeth and gum erosion due to frequent smoking.
We’ve highlighted the facts that you need to know about the effects of cannabis on oral health and how to maintain your oral health if you’re a smoker.
Cannabis Increases Dry Mouth
A dry mouth is a common symptom that all THC users know well. Known also as cottonmouth, Xerostomia is a side effect that gives smokers the sensation that their mouth is dry. It becomes harder to talk and swallow because saliva is not present.
Cannabis lowers saliva production in the mouth, which is problematic since saliva is the natural fluid cleanser of oral health; it washes away bacteria and protects the teeth. If your mouth is continuously depleted of saliva, you have less protection against tooth decay and gum disease.
Cannabis Triggers the Munchies
One of the most satisfying aspects of being in a high state for smokers is sensory enhancement. For them, music sounds better, colours are more vivid, and food tastes much better.
Along with heightened senses, THC triggers appetite and increases food cravings that outweigh natural hunger. It’s easy for smokers to eat way more than they can handle, and often, this includes a craving for foods that are harmful to the mouth, such as sweets and fats.
Although the munchies make binge eating tempting, it’s important to remember that excess intake of sweets and fats will erode tooth enamel. Those who ingest cannabis edibles should be careful because edibles often consist of high-sugar treats, like cookies and brownies, and frequent eating will lead to severe oral health.
Cannabis Increases the Likelihood of Oral Diseases
Because cannabis suppresses the immune system, users are more susceptible to dangerous mouth-related conditions, such as oral thrush. This is a condition in which fungus develops on the mouth with a white exterior. When saliva and constant sweets are consumed, as well as the suppression of the immune system, bacteria will enter the mouth and affect the entire body.
How to Prevent Eroding Dental Health with Cannabis Use
If you’re a smoker, it’s important to be conscious of these issues so that you can prepare. Remember to drink fluids, avoid sweet substances, and even consider cutting back on your THC intake. The most important measure you can take is consulting a doctor.
Our team at King Town Dental has experience treating cannabis smokers with poor oral health. We can offer personal suggestions on how to improve the state of your mouth. Book an appointment with us today and find out how we can keep your smile nice and white!