New US surveys indicate marijuana use hinders dental treatment

Recent surveys undertaken by the American Dental Association and reported on by Dental Tribune, seem to indicate that marijuana use can hinder dental treatment.

Following on from studies in the United States, where personal and medical marijuana use has been legislated in a number of states, commencing in 2012, which how marijuana affects the oral health of users, the surveys suggest that patients should not use the drug prior to visiting the dentist.

ADA spokesperson, Dr Tricia Quartey, noted that “Unfortunately, sometimes having marijuana in your system results in needing an additional visit.”

“Marijuana can lead to increased anxiety, paranoia and hyperactivity, which could make the visit more stressful. It can also increase heart rate and has unwanted respiratory side effects, which increases the risk of using local anaesthetics for pain control.”

It’s a reasonably prevalent issue in the United States where 52% if respondents to the first online survey said they “had encountered situations where patients arrived for their appointments intoxicated by marijuana or another drug”, a consequence of the fact that an estimated 48 million people in the country have admitted to using marijuana, the direct result of the drug now being legal in 21 states, two territories and the District of Columbia.

Another effect of the increasing use of marijuana is the increased prevalence of dental caries and poor dental hygiene.

“The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, makes you hungry, and people don’t always make healthy food choices under its influence,” Dr Quartey explained.

Additionally the pairing of marijuana and vaping leads to additional oral health issues including gum disease and dry mouth.

The American Dental Association, notes Dental Tribune, hopes to continue its research with the aim of providing “clinical recommendations for dentists and patients.”

For the full story, go to “Intoxicated at dental appointment: Can marijuana use hinder dental treatment?”

/ADA Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.