Smoking Cannabis Can Cause Gum Diseases and Oral Health Problems, Says Dental Hygienist

Smoking a little bit of marijuana might have more serious consequences to your oral health than a bout of dry mouth.

A Canadian oral hygienist is warning cannabis consumers that smoking cannabis could cause a number of oral problems and several gum diseases when overdone.

"Cannabis use has many side effects that can alter the state of our mouths, teeth, and gums," Tracy Bowser, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association, told Digital Journal.

She says that excessive smoking can lead to things like gingivitis and other periodontal conditions. Not only that, but even the more seemingly mundane marijuana-related side effects can cause some problems for your oral health. Xerostomia—the medical term for dry mouth—can promote things like gum disease, tooth loss and infections. And if you're the type of cannabis connoisseur who develops a mean sweet tooth after smoking up, you have a little more to worry about.

"Those famous 'munchies' increase the time that teeth are exposed to sugar," explained Bowser. "As a result, cannabis users have a higher risk of cavities, gum disease, and oral infections."

Now, we're not saying you should stop smoking weed. But if you enjoy having good oral health, maybe line up some healthy snacks, make sure you hit the water and try vaping to give your gums a break from smoke exposure.

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Lawmakers in Quebec failed to pass a bill that would have increased the minimum age for purchasing and consuming cannabis from 18 to 21 before the end of the legislative session. When the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) was elected to power in Quebec last year, they brought with them a promise to raise the legal age for buying and consuming recreational cannabis. Right now, anyone 18 or older can legally purchase cannabis in Quebec, which is tied with Alberta for having the lowest legal age for recreational cannabis.

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