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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cannabis Causes Gum Disease

Over the years, many studies have identified the link between gum disease and cigarette smoking, but none have looked at the long term effects of cannabis smoking and gum disease – until now. An international team of experts followed the dental health of 1,000 heavy cannabis smokers and found that over one-third of them developed gum disease by the age of 32. The criteria to be deemed a ‘heavy’ smoker was that the participants smoked at least 41 times a year from the ages of 18 and 32.

The study was lead by Professor Murray Thomson from the University of Otago and included scientists from Duke University, the University of North Carolina and King’s College in London. What they found was that 29% of the people followed developed gum disease.

While the researchers realize that many cannabis smokers also smoke tobacco, even non-tobacco smokers developed gum disease. The researchers think that whether or not people develop gum disease from cannabis has less to do with the smoke itself, and more to do with the fact that cannabis is full of toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream and affect the body’s ability to heal infected gums.

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