Recreational Marijuana May Increase Gum Disease Risk
Frequent use of cannabis—marijuana, hashish, hash oil—may lead to gum disease and tooth loss, according to research done at the Columbia University School of Dental Medicine. The study was published in the Journal of Periodontology.
Gum disease—gingivitis and periodontitis—increases the risk for several health problems. The link between tobacco use and gum disease is well known, but Jaffer Shariff, DDS, MPH, a resident in periodontology at Columbia and lead author of the study, says the possible connection between cannabis and gum disease was somewhat surprising.
Researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control's 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was done in collaboration with the American Academy of Periodontology. The survey involved 1,938 adults, 27 percent of whom reported using marijuana at least once in the past year. According to researchers, frequent users had higher rates of moderate to severe periodontal disease than less frequent users.