Dental Health Implications of Cannabis Use
Many scientific-based research has shown a strong significance between cannabis use and dental health.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA), a non-profit dentist association, promotes the health risks of cannabis use and they encourage patients to be honest and transparent prior to dental procedures.
It is recommended that patients should review the use of cannabis-based products with their dentist. And the dentist should be able to review the known and potential risks of exposure and consumption of cannabis with the patients. This is to ensure safety during dental procedures.
Symptoms and Risks
It is important to recognize the signs of an intoxicated patient before undergoing a dental procedure, especially when an anaesthetic is planned.
Many dental professionals caution about the negative consequences of using cannabis prior to dental procedures as it can increase the risk of bleeding which can result in health complications.
When dentists perform dental procedures, they use local anaesthetics and medications in the actual procedure itself. Some of these medications, like marijuana, can raise the heart rate of the patient that can cause a possible drug interaction if he/she had recently consumed marijuana.
When suspected, the use of plain anaesthetics is preferred for dental treatment. Lower immunity may compromise healing response following extractions, placement of implants, and surgical and nonsurgical periodontal intervention.
Not only does it affect dental health, but also the mental health of an individual. The primary signs of an intoxicated patient include euphoria, hyperactivity, tachycardia, paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.
Here are other symptoms and risks of cannabis use to dental health:
- Tooth discolouration
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pain when eating and chewing
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
Smoking cannabis is directly associated with periodontal problems, tooth decay and gum disease. Long term cannabis use can lead to chronic dryness in the mouth.
Dry mouth contributes to an increased risk of cavities and eventually, more serious issues like stomatitis – an inflammation of the mouth and lips, or an overgrowth of the gums.
Cannabis also burns at a high temperature. That means that when an individual holds the smoke to the mouth and lungs longer, there is an increased risk of heat damage inside of his/her mouth.
Treatment and Prevention
There are many ways to prevent or at least minimize the effects of cannabis and prevent dental problems, especially those who are undergoing dental treatment.
- Drink plenty of water to help deal with dry mouth after smoking. Also, to help wash away the acid produced by a sugary edible.
- Talk to a dentist to understand the risks of the consumption and properly monitor oral health for any unintended consequences. Be honest about it especially prior to a dental appointment so that the dentist can provide the right care with the patient’s needs.
- Brush, floss or even rinse daily to boost oral health. Maintain strict dental hygiene. Moderate sugary foods and drinks consumption.
Whether you are using cannabis or not, it is still important to see a dentist regularly to help decrease the risk factors of poor oral health. The dentist may be able to determine dental problems early and intervene before it becomes serious.