Smoking increases risk of tooth loss

Tobacco users are found to have gum disease as well as reduced lung function

Ians June 02, 2016
Tobacco users are found to have gum disease as well as reduced lung function. PHOTO: ZEENEWS

NEW YORK,: Smoking marijuana for a long time can put you at increased risk of gum diseases that can lead to tooth loss, says a study that found no other serious adverse physical effects of pot-smoking.

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Tobacco users in the study were found to have gum disease as well as reduced lung function, systemic inflammation and indicators of poorer metabolic health.

"We can see the physical health effects of tobacco smoking in this study, but we don't see similar effects for cannabis smoking," said Madeline Meier, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University in the US.

The international research team assessed a dozen measures of physical health, including lung function, systemic inflammation and several measures of metabolic syndrome, including waist circumference, HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose control and body mass index.

While study participants who had used marijuana to some degree over the last 20 years showed an increase in gum disease from age 26 to 38, they did not differ from non-users on any of the other physical health measures.

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"We need to recognise that heavy recreational cannabis use does have some adverse consequences, but overall damage to physical health is not apparent in this study," study co-author Avshalom Caspi, Professor at Duke University in Durham, said.

The findings were published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.


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