How Cannabis Can Impact Your Oral Health
There are many lifestyle factors, including regular cannabis use, that can impact your oral health. Here are some of the ways that we’re learning that cannabis use can affect your oral health.
Should You Tell Your Dentist That You Smoke Cannabis?
Short answer – Yes!
Some people feel uncomfortable sharing information about their consumption habits with their dentist, but it’s important to remember that he or she is a medical professional who wants to offer you the best care possible. It’s important to be honest because this knowledge will help your dentist design an oral care plan that fits your individual needs, without any judgement.
A common side effect of cannabis use is dry mouth. Although dry mouth might not seem like anything to worry about, it’s been shown to increase the risk of tooth decay and oral infections. If your dentist knows that you’re at higher risk for these health concerns, they’ll be able to take additional measures to prevent serious problems from developing.
Many people find that their appetite increases while under the influence. This is a consequence of consuming the psychotropic agent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Dulled inhibitions and increased hunger can lead people to seek out unhealthy foods and to consume a lot of them. If these foods contain large amounts of sugar or starch, indulging in them will increase your risk of developing cavities. Try to keep some cavity-friendly snacks on hand to satisfy the munchies.
Periodontal disease is a gum infection that can damage your gums and jawbone. Eventually, it may result in tooth loss and can be detrimental to your overall wellbeing. Periodontal disease is associated with frequent cannabis use, especially when it’s smoked. This may be, in part, due to dry mouth. Saliva is your first line of defense against bacteria and a key component of keeping your mouth healthy.
The most troubling consequence of cannabis use is the increased risk for cancer. Smoking, in particular, is linked to a higher chance of developing oral cancer, especially for people who also smoke tobacco products. This has been traced back to the high temperatures of the smoke, as well as the carcinogenic properties of THC. It’s important that your dentist knows about this risk factor, as this information can help them identify signs of cancer early on, which is the key to a good prognosis.
Schedule Your Next Appointment At Your Family Dental Clinic in SE Calgary!
If you have any concerns about your oral health, or if it’s simply time for your next cleaning and checkup, make an appointment with Forest Lawn Dental Centre in Calgary. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about the different behaviours that can impact your oral health and can also assist you in developing an individualized treatment plan based on your lifestyle. We’re currently accepting new patients, so don’t hesitate to contact us today to make an appointment.