smoke it or use a vape, cannabis can negatively affect your dental procedures.
Talk to Your DentistWhether you consume cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, it is essential that you talk to your dentist about your use. Just like using alcohol or other drugs, if you consume it before dental procedures, it can negatively affect the outcome of your procedure. To ensure your safety during your appointment, be open and honest about your use. Some examples of its unintended effects are below:
- Cannabis can increase the effects of IV and oral sedation. This is very important for those anxious patients who need a medication like Ativan to relax prior to dental appointments.
- Cannabis can increase bleeding time further for patients already taking medications that act as blood thinners (aspirin, anti-platelet drugs, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These medications are common with patients who are at risk for stroke.
- It can also affect your sugar levels – this is noteworthy for diabetics that are taking medications meant to do the same thing.
Impact of Cannabis on Oral HealthIn general terms, cannabis has various effects on the mouth, such as:
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) – whether it is smoked or ingested, cannabis reduces the amount of saliva produced in your mouth. Frequent users will notice this more readily, and evidence shows that dry mouth very commonly leads to a greater number of cavities.
- Periodontal disease – the data is clear on the effects of cigarette smoking and gum disease, and research shows there’s a definite link with cannabis smoking as well. The effects of gum disease can be seen through red, puffy gums, and bone loss around your teeth.
- Oral cancers – any time smoke is held in the mouth and lungs, there’s the possibility of heat damage to the tissue. It can also cause a change in the outermost lining of your mouth, which can be precancerous. Long term effects from these inflammatory changes may cause permanent destruction of the oral mucosa as well.
- Oral infections – cannabis users are also at higher risk for oral infections like thrush, stemming from the cannabis itself, but also from the dry mouth mentioned above.