Marijuana has medical uses and is used by some people recreationally. The use of Marijuana is legal in some states and should be discussed with health care professionals. It is derived from a Cannabis plant. And the active ingredient is tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC - this is the part that has an effect on the nervous system). It is also an anti-emetic, reducing nausea/ vomiting. The recreational use of Marijuana has a range of effects due to the different levels of potency based on the concentration.
The medical uses of marijuana includes treating muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis, nausea from chemotherapy, ocular pressure from glaucoma, chronic illnesses like HIV, or poor appetite. The short term effects include drownsiness and euphoria. However, there are some effects that it has on the oral cavity. Superficially, it leads to increasingly stained teeth, reddened mucosa/tissue, dry mouth, or possibly bad breath.
Researchers have found that the frequent use of marijuana leads to periodontal disease. This was found by comparing those who use Marijuana at least once a month to those who used it less regularly. Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone structure around the teeth. The increased inflammation seen in periodontal disease begins with pronounced bleeding gums and if untreated, leads to loosened teeth. Periodontal disease is reversible if treated in a timely fashion. When gums bleed frequently, it causes a form of halitosis.
Dry mouth, Xerostomia, is an effect of marijuana and it increases the risk of cavities. People often try to alleviate the feeling of dry mouth with sweet drinks or snacks that can worsen the accumulation of plaque and buildup around teeth. It is best to sip water or use a recommended mouthrinse like Biotene for dry mouth.
The temperature in the mouth goes up from marijuana smoking that changes the oral environment. Changing the natural temperature of the mouth and disrupting normal cell and tissue makeup raises the risk of oral cancer. Learn more about oral cancer.
In summary, the use of Marijuana can cause bad breath. There are a number of mouthrinses that can reduce the harmful effects on the breath. Flossing, brushing, and keeping up with dental visits help in preventing the occurrence of periodontal disease. However, the use of THC must be properly discussed with a physician. And recreational use is discouraged to avoid potential side effects.
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