With the legalization of recreational cannabis last fall, it’s been almost impossible to turn on the TV or radio and not hear something about the plant.
At Dental Care Group, we’ve had patients ask us about how smoking, vaping, or consuming edibles could affect their oral health. So … we assembled the following list with information from the Ontario Dental Association. It will give you a clear picture of what the risks really are.
- Oral cancer: If you choose to light up, you may develop oral cancer. The plant itself and the carcinogens from smoke can damage tissues in your mouth.
- Complications during your dental visit: Cannabis use can increase the likelihood of bleeding during a dental procedure and impede healing. It can also impact the effects of medications and anesthesia.
- Munchies: It’s no secret that one of the side effects of smoking marijuana is hunger. But oftentimes, people don’t make the healthiest choices and instead opt for sweet treats. Rinse with a few sips of water after snacking to stop cavities from starting and keep dry mouth at bay.
- Staining: Cannabis smoke will stain your tooth enamel (the outer layer) and lead to demineralization. This makes it a lot tougher to remove those stains!
- Dry mouth: For one out of five adults, dry mouth is a chronic condition that leaves the mouth and the throat rough, sore, and sticky. Some people experience hoarse voices and have trouble eating, swallowing, talking, or wearing dentures. Dry mouth can lead to cavities and even gum disease.
- Sweet edibles: Be sure to look for the sugar content in candies, chocolate, baked goods, and other cannabis-infused edibles. You don’t want a sugar-coated smile.
Whether you smoke, vape, or indulge in the odd cannabis brownie … let us know about your use – we won’t judge. As your Danforth dentist, we can offer you tips on how to prevent cavities and other harmful oral health problems from forming. For your safety, it’s especially important you tell us if you’re under the influence when you come in for your appointment.
Dr. Chris Binert graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry, 1983 with honors. She has been a member of the Ontario Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association since her graduation.
Dr. Binert is currently an instructor at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, and has taught there for over 25 years. She is currently the Director of the Dental Care Group.