Marijuana, commonly referred to as weed, has become more commonplace thanks to medicinal uses, the opening of cannabis businesses, and the passage of state and local legislation.
An increase in use begs the question: is smoking weed bad for your teeth?
Does Smoking Weed Affect your Gums?
The gums are one area of the mouth affected by smoking marijuana.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and additional irritants contained in marijuana smoke can damage the gums. Damage includes gum swelling, gingivitis, infections, and whitish-grey lesions that form on the gums. Those issues can lead to more complicated oral health concerns, including tooth and bone loss and gum tissue increase or decrease.
Gum recession results in a couple of ways.
Similar to cigarette smoking, marijuana smoking can cause dry mouth. The mouth doesn’t produce the proper amount of saliva to control oral bacteria. That leads to an increase in bacteria that damages teeth and gums.
Marijuana usage also suppresses the body’s immune system. That promotes bacteria growth. It also reduces blood flow to the gums. Infection repercussions are another area of concern. Those infections can spread to other areas of the body.
Does Smoking Weed Stain your Teeth?
Like smoking tobacco, marijuana usage will also stain your teeth, which your dentist is sure to notice. The smoke contains carcinogens – the agents that cause tooth discoloration. Inhaling smoke regularly results in stain accumulation. The staining is compounded by not practicing regular oral care, including brushing and flossing.
Chronic discoloration can be somewhat negated by professional whitening treatments. Those options should be discussed with your dentist.
Does Smoking Weed Affect Your Teeth?
Tooth decay is one way that smoking weed negatively affects teeth. Once gums become irritated and recede, they separate from teeth. This creates pockets between the gums and teeth. Bacteria and plaque harvest in those gaps and can eventually result in tooth decay. Gum disease and bad breath are other dental issues that can arise from smoking weed.
There are other ways to take marijuana without the damaging effects smoke has on your teeth: marijuana chewing gum and THC tinctures.
Marijuana Chewing Gum
The gum allows you to consume a daily CBD dose easily and discreetly. It releases the cannabinoid through the sublingual pathway. CBD chewing gum allows the cannabinoid to reach the bloodstream without passing through the liver. This means you don't lose part of the cannabinoid to metabolization in the liver.
THC tinctures are cannabis oil products that contain THC extracts. They are typically made up of cannabis extract and high-proof alcohol. Occasionally they include a slight number of essential oils.
Tinctures are consumed orally as opposed to smoking or vaping. THC tincture side effects do not include tooth staining or lung damage since smoking and vaping are eliminated from the process.
Can Smoking Weed Give You Cavities?
The increase in tooth decay associated with smoking marijuana naturally brings an increase in cavities, also known as dental caries. One way this occurs is due to the desire to eat brought about by marijuana usage.
Often referred to as “the munchies,” people high on weed resort to poor food and drink choices to satisfy their hunger and thirst. Many of those foods and drinks are processed; thus, they have high sugar content. That accelerates the decay process and leads to a higher number of cavities in marijuana smokers than in non-users.
Does Smoking Weed Help a Toothache?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is the compound in the hemp and cannabis plant that has pain-relieving benefits. CBD does not produce a high, but it is used to treat anxiety, certain types of chronic pain, and seizures.
Thanks to its pain-fighting and anti-inflammatory traits, using CBD for tooth pain is an effective treatment method. This is especially beneficial if you can’t get an immediate dental appointment to treat the pain. CBD also has antibacterial properties, so it can keep the problematic area clean and prevent infection.
Find a Dentist Near Me
Consult your dentist to discuss any questions about can smoking weed damage your teeth and any positive effects of marijuana on your oral health. Or, check out The Smile Generation Find a Dentist Tool to find a dentist near you for all your mouth health needs. You can read patient reviews, peruse staff bios, and schedule an appointment online with a click of your mouse.
• Does Using Marijuana Affect Your Oral Health? MD Periodontics, mdperio.com/blog/marijuana-and-your-oral-health/
• Is Smoking Marijuana Bad for Your Oral Health?, Mountain Top Periodontics & Implants, Jan 16, 2020, myperiocare.com/is-smoking-marijuana-bad-for-your-oral-health/
• Kahn, Sieeka, "Does Marijuana Chewing Gum Work?" The Science Times, Dec 02, 2019 https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/24333/20191202/marijuana.htm
• THC Tinctures: Overview, Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage, CBD Genesis, September 7, 2022, https://cbdgenesis.com/blog/thc-tinctures-overview-benefits-side-effects-and-dosage/