Long-term Marijuana smoking may cause periodontal disease: Study

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on June 02, 2016.

People who smoke marijuana for a long time have an increased risk of developing gum disease, that may lead to loss of teeth, a new study has claimed.

However, the researchers did not find a link between marijuana use in adulthood and poor physical health for a number of conditions, including lung function, systemic inflammation, metabolic health, blood pressure etc.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr Madeline Meier, of Arizona State University, and his colleagues have studied the marijuana use data, involving nearly 1,000 people born between 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand who smoked marijuana for up to 20 years have more gum disease, but otherwise do not show worse physical health than non-smokers.

While study participants who had used marijuana to some degree over the last 20 years showed an increase in periodontal disease from age 26 to 38, they did not differ from non-users on any of the other physical health measures, researchers said.

In periodontal disease, the gums around the teeth become inflamed, according to the National Institutes of Health. It affects the tissues surrounding the teeth which hold them in place, and can eventually cause them to fall out.

"Physicians should certainly explain to their patients that long-term marijuana use can put them at risk for losing some teeth," Terrie Moffitt, who is also from Duke University said. In previous studies, the researchers linked the marijuana use with accidents and injuries, bronchitis, acute cardiovascular events, and, possibly, infectious diseases and cancer.

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