The Tooth of the Matter: A Dental Blog
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The Tooth of the Matter: A Dental Blog

You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.


The Tooth of the Matter: A Dental Blog

Four Things To Understand About Medical Marijuana And Your Dental Health

Sofia Curtis

In some states, dentists can issue medical marijuana prescriptions to assist in recovery after oral surgery or intensive dental treatment. However, the relationship between dentistry and medical marijuana is complex. While medical marijuana can be beneficial during recovery, there are several things you should understand before beginning treatment with it. 

Marijuana and Short-Term Pain Relief

Medical marijuana may be prescribed for short-term pain relief after intensive dental treatments such as the removal of wisdom teeth or the placement of an implant. They can reduce your reliance on opioids for pain relief, which can be helpful if you are at risk for opioid addiction or have adverse affects to opioid treatment. However, it is important you and your dentist weigh the risks of marijuana use, as it can extend the healing period for certain procedures such as dental implants.

Marijuana and Long-Term Pain Relief

Medical marijuana is often used to control issues of chronic pain. In dentistry, marijuana may help with clenching, grinding, and TMJ that causes chronic pain. This can be especially useful in cases where treatment options are limited or exhausted. 

Marijuana and Dental Anxiety 

Some people assume that the relaxed, euphoric feeling marijuana can produce will help with dental anxiety. However, it is important to note that dental situations can spike feelings of paranoia in marijuana uses. Additionally, some anesthetics cannot be used on people who are currently under the influence of marijuana. If you take marijuana before a dental appointment, it is important to inform your dentist so they can adjust your dental care appropriately. You should keep in mind that your dentist may refuse to treat you while you are under the influence of marijuana. 

Marijuana and Informed Consent

If you are under the influence of marijuana, you cannot give informed consent for irreversible procedures such as tooth extraction. For this reason, it is best to not take marijuana for several hours, preferably a day, before your appointment. 

Marijuana and Dental Hygiene

Frequent marijuana use can lead to dental complications, including cavities and gum disease. This is often because of dry mouth and frequent snacking. If you use medical marijuana, it is important to limit carbohydrate-rich snacks, drink plenty of fluids, and brush often. You may also need more frequent dental checkups. 

In general, medical marijuana should be used during recovery instead of before treatments, and you should be aware of the long-term dental effects of marijuana usage. If you use medical marijuana for dental recovery or other reasons, make sure you let your dentist know.