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Why dentists don’t want you to smoke pot

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The Ontario Dental Association is warning Canadians, now that pot is legal, of its effects on oral health.

The biggest issue? Smoking it. Just like smoking tobacco, smoking marijuana has negative consequences for your teeth, gums and mouth, said Dr. David Stevenson, president of the Ontario Dental Association.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re smoking tea leaves, tobacco or marijuana. Smoke dries out your mouth,” he said.

Dry mouth contributes to an increased risk of cavities, gum disease and eventually, more serious issues like stomatitis – an inflammation of the mouth and lips, or an overgrowth of the gums, said Dr. José Lança, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

This is bad news for the 86 per cent of marijuana users who smoke it at least sometimes, according to a recent exclusive Ipsos poll for Global News.

Although people who smoke marijuana don’t generally smoke it as often as someone who smokes cigarettes, they do tend to hold the smoke in their mouths and lungs a bit longer, Lança said. Marijuana also burns at a higher temperature than tobacco, meaning there is an increased risk of heat damage to the inside of your mouth, he said.

Marijuana smoke also contains many of the same carcinogens and even more tar than tobacco smoke, Lança said, though much more research needs to be done on the effects of marijuana smoke.

The easiest way to avoid these problems if you’re using marijuana is just not to smoke it, he said.

Although as a dentist, Stevenson isn’t crazy about the tooth-rotting sugar content of the typical marijuana edible, like a brownie or gummy bear, eating marijuana would prevent the smoking-related issues — and most edibles are consumed in tiny quantities, like a single chocolate square.

Vaping may also help, as the marijuana itself isn’t combusted, though both Lança and Stevenson caution that vaping products with added chemicals, similar to tobacco vaping liquids, could have other health consequences.

Smoking marijuana carries many of the same risks for your oral health as smoking tobacco, dentists say.

Marijiuana and your mouth. the risks of smoking before a dental visit

Posted Dec 5th, 2018 in Dental Health Tips

With the legalization of marijuana (Cannabis) behind us, it’s important to know how the drug can affect your dental appointment.

The BC Dental Association has released this patient bulletin to educate the population on how marijuana can negatively affect your dental appointment.

  1. Always be honest with your health care provider on any drugs or supplements you are taking, including marijuana.
  2. Marijuana can interfere with other medications we use in the dental office.
  3. Marijuana use can result in poor healing and effect your ability to consent to treatment. Cannabis can increase risk of bleeding and complications after procedures such as cleanings, extractions, root canals, fillings, implants. Be open with your dentist and avoid cannabis before all medical appointments.
  4. Cannabis come in many different strains, each with a slightly different effect on the human body. Some can be higher in levels of THS, some cause increased anxiety while others have more sedative effects. The different modes of consumption (smoking, vaping, eating) results in different effects. Smoking and vaping have a more immediate effect, while edibles can be less predictable – lasting longer, and having a stronger effect. This vast unpredictability is a good reason to avoid using it before a dental appointment
  5. Reschedule your appointment if you have consumed cannabis, and always be honest with your dentist.
Have more questions about marijuana and your dental appointment? Contact our Maple Ridge dentists today.

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With the legalization of marijuana (Cannabis) behind us, it’s important to know how the drug can affect your dental appointment.