Though marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, it’s completely legal in Colorado for recreational purposes. At Life Dentistry, we often get questions from users about how marijuana affects oral health.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions, so that you can understand how marijuana use affects your teeth. Looking for a judgment-free dental office near you? Schedule an appointment with us!
What effect does smoking weed have on my oral health?
As you might expect, marijuana use does have a number of effects on your oral health. Smoking weed can result in oral health issues such as:
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) – “Cottonmouth” is one of the most common side-effects of marijuana use. Dry mouth is a serious oral health concern. If your saliva buildup is inhibited, the saliva in your mouth cannot “wash away” bacteria and food debris. In turn, this leads to a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Tooth discoloration – Smoking any substance can lead to tooth discoloration, and weed is no exception. However, serious tooth discoloration from smoking weed is quite rare except in very heavy smokers.
- Higher risk of oral cancer – While marijuana has fewer carcinogens than tobacco, smoking any substance can increase your risk of oral cancer.
These are the primary effects that smoking weed has on your oral health. As time goes on and more research is conducted, it’s likely that other effects will also be discovered.
How can I maintain my oral health while smoking weed?
Well, the most important thing you can do is brush and floss regularly. If you have a great oral hygiene regimen, your weed use will probably have a minimal impact on your oral health.
And, of course, you should schedule regular 6-month teeth cleanings and oral exams at Life Dentistry.
In addition, after using marijuana, you should consider using chewing gum to stimulate saliva production. This helps you reduce the severity of dry mouth, and prevent the associated oral health issues.
You may also want to consider using a vaping device or consuming edibles instead of smoking. Current research indicates that vaping is safer than smoking marijuana, and has fewer negative effects on both your oral health and your lungs.
Can my dentist tell if I smoke weed?
Here’s another very common question. The answer is no – unless you walk into our office smelling like you’ve just gotten back from a tour with the Grateful Dead!
The oral health effects of marijuana are quite similar to those of tobacco and are usually very mild. There is no way for a dentist to figure out if you smoke marijuana based only on your mouth.
Come to Life Dentistry – no matter what “recreational activities” you indulge in!
Whether you’ve been enjoying Colorado’s regulations on marijuana legalization, or are simply looking for a new dentist in Lafayette, Life Dentistry is the place for you!
We specialize in helping you maintain your oral health through restorative, cosmetic, emergency and family dentistry. Schedule your next check-up today by contacting us at (970) 289-5433, or visit our office at 110 Old Laramie Trail E #100, Lafayette, CO 80026.