Study Shows Long-term Cannabis Use Associated With Declining Periodontal Health

The ADA News (6/1, Manchir) reports that research published this month in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found study participants who self-reported cannabis use for up to 20 years were more likely to have periodontal disease, and that their periodontal health declined from age 26 to age 38. The article also recalls a recent report in the May issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, which “highlights the need for specific guidance for oral health care professionals regarding cannabis use as it relates to dentists.”

Other reporting on the research focused on the finding that long-term cannabis use was associated with few physical health issues in adulthood. Reuters (6/1, Seaman) reports participants had poor periodontal health but otherwise “were generally as healthy as people who didn’t” smoke. Researchers studied over 1,000 people born in New Zealand and tracked them from age 3 to age 38. According to Reuters, the researchers “did not find a link between marijuana use in adulthood and poor physical health for a number of conditions, including lung function, systemic inflammation, metabolic health, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).”

The Oregonian (6/1, Terry) reports the researchers “reviewed self-reported cannabis use at ages 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38,” and found that “higher cannabis use was associated with periodontal problems at age 38 after controlling for periodontal health at age 26 and overall tobacco.”

Also covering the study are HealthDay (6/1, Reinberg), LiveScience (6/1, Blaszczak), Medical Daily (6/1), The Guardian (UK) (6/1, McCarthy), and Daily Mail (6/1, Mailonline).