Weed is a tricky topic. On the one hand, it’s been shown to help with everything from depression and anxiety to chronic pain, and even cancer. But, if you’re a fan of getting high, you may want to think about how it’s affecting your gums.
The cannabis plant has long been known for its medicinal properties, but did you know that the plant’s active ingredient can also be harmful to your teeth?
In recent years, there’s been quite a bit of research into whether or not smoking weed is bad for your teeth. Some studies have found that getting high can improve your dental hygiene by reducing plaque build-up and decreasing gum inflammation. While others have suggested that cannabis use may be linked to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
So what’s the real story? Is smoking weed bad for your teeth?
Is Smoking Weed Bad For Your Teeth?
Weed is good for a lot of things—like making you feel relaxed, or giving you the munchies. But what about your teeth?
Weed has little to no adverse effects on physical health – such as lung function, cholesterol, blood pressure, or body mass index in marijuana. But, studies shed light on the fact that regular cannabis use does have a significant impact on the health of teeth and gums.
We all know that smoking anything can be bad for our teeth—especially if we’re not careful.
Luckily, there are other ways to consume cannabis without smoking it. But, what if smoking is your preferred way of consumption? Should you do it? And what exactly are the side effects?
Effects of Smoking on Your Dental Health
When you smoke, your gum health can suffer.
If you’re a smoker, it’s important to be aware of how smoking affects your mouth and teeth. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in plaque on your teeth and gums. Plaque buildup can lead to inflammation, which causes pain and swelling in the gums. This condition is known as gingivitis, and it’s very common among smokers (especially heavy ones).
The act of smoking anything is bad for our teeth, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. Smoking can stain teeth and further dries out the mouth. Because the science is still new, and because tobacco use and cannabis use are often correlated, it’s hard to know whether cannabis or tobacco in particular is worse for the teeth.
Smoking cigarettes has been shown to increase the risk of gum disease because it causes a decrease in blood flow to the gums. This makes them more susceptible to infections like periodontitis (which leads to tooth loss).
In addition to affecting your oral health, smoking weed may also cause problems with your jaw joints or muscles from prolonged use over time—so make sure you take care of yourself!
Cure Cannabis-Caused Cotton Mouth
Smoking weed is a great way to get high, but it’s also a major cause of dry mouth.
You see, when you smoke weed and your salivary glands stop producing saliva as much as normal, your mouth becomes drier than ever before. This is because your mouth needs more water than just what you drink to stay hydrated and healthy. If you don’t replace the lost moisture in your mouth with a toothbrush and some kind of dentifrice (toothpaste) or at least by drinking plenty of water, the dryness can start eating away at the surface of your teeth. If left untreated, chronic dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and even gum disease.
So, if you want to chat with “Mary Jane”, but want to avoid the dry mouth that comes with it, try these tips!
Regularly clean your smoking accessories.
Your dry mouth and bad breath may be attributed to your filthy bong or pipe that you haven’t cleaned in who knows how long. So, in case you’re wondering why you should regularly clean your bong or pipe, it’s because of the health of your teeth.
Thoroughly clean your pieces to ensure you’re not inhaling ash, bacteria, and/or germs that may contribute to bad oral health. Cleaning your pipe is easy and effective. Simply soak it in warm water for 10 minutes, then use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to remove any residue from inside the bowl. If you like, add a drop or two of dish soap to the water for extra cleaning power. Rinse thoroughly before using again.
Try different ways to get high without smoking.
Since smoking blunts or joints lead to dry mouth and stank breath… try getting high another way!
Vaporizers are just as effective as joints, but without burning the plant matter. It’s like a mini-vacuum cleaner for your lungs! Weed is also available in edible form: brownies, cookies, lollipops, gummies…the list goes on. If that’s not your thing, consider tincture: an alcohol-based liquid that’s infused with cannabis oil and dropped under your tongue. It doesn’t produce any smoke or vapor (so no ashtray smell), but it still gives you a mellow high that lasts for hours. You can find out more about alternative ways to burn cannabis by reading Beyond Buds by Ed Rosenthal!
Eat less junk food.
We know it’s tempting, especially when you have a serious case of the munchies and your mouth feels like the Sahara desert.
The most obvious reason why eating too much junk food is bad for your teeth is because of sugar content. Sugar is responsible for a lot of dental problems in humans—including cavities (or “caries”). And if you’ve ever had a cavity, then you know how painful it can be!
But, there are other reasons why eating too many sugary foods can hurt your teeth. Even cause damage that doesn’t show up until later in life. For example, eating a lot of junk food can cause acid erosion because of its high acid content; this can lead to enamel loss and tooth sensitivity over time.
So, if you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, stay away from the sweet stuff! Instead, check out our roundup of healthy munchies HERE.
So, can smoking weed be bad for your teeth?
In short: yes.
If you’re smoking weed regularly it could lead to gum health issues and even tooth decay. But if you’re using it as a way to cope with stress or anxiety, smoking some weed isn’t going to be a huge detriment to your oral health. Especially if you’re using it in moderation.
The good news is that you can avoid dental damage in a few simple ways. There are a lot of potential issues that can affect your teeth, from dry mouth to gum disease. And while smoking weed may make you more likely to get cavities or lose your teeth at an early age, it’s like not the only reason you need to worry about. You should still brush and floss regularly and see your dentist twice a year—even if you don’t smoke weed.
So go ahead and light up! Just make sure you’re also taking care of yourself.
Come to The Happy Campers for all the latest cannabis news and findings.