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Cannabis smoking linked to periodontal disease

Using marijuana isn't just illegal, it could be bringing you one step closer to gum disease.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that young people who are heavy marijuana smokers may be at significant risk for periodontal disease.

The study, conducted in New Zealand, is the first long-term evaluation of the relationship between cannabis smoking and gum disease.

The authors tracked self-reported data on cannabis use and tobacco smoking in a group of young adults born between 1972 and 1973 and found a "strong association between cannabis use and periodontitis experience by age 32."

If untreated, periodontitis — which involves the progressive loss of the bone around teeth — may lead to the loosening and eventual loss of your teeth.

Overall, regular cannabis users were three times more likely to have significant periodontal attachment loss than non-smokers of cannabis.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health, the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom and the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

3/24/2008

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