A recent study at Duke University, New Zealand, has revealed that heavy marijuana use can lead to gum disease.
The research led by W. Murray Thomson of the school of dentistry at The University of Otago, New Zealand evaluated the gum recession at three sites on each tooth of the subjects at ages 26 and again at 32.
The findings revealed that smoking cannabis more than 40 times a year since age 18 was found to be responsible for more than one-third of the new cases of the disease.
"Heavy cannabis use has been linked to greater risks of developing respiratory disease and some psychiatric conditions," said Terrie Moffit, a Duke University professor of psychology and neuroscience who participated in the study.
Most of the self-identified heavy marijuana users also were tobacco-users, but that factor was controlled statistically, however the team was able to focus on study participants who were not tobacco-users, and they still found a link between marijuana use and gum disease.
"Gum disease should be added to that list of known hazards," said Moffit.
The study appears in Feb. 6 Journal of the American Medical Association.