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    Dentists warn against cannabis harmful effects

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Dental Medical Society heightens public awareness of the harmful effects of cannabis, an enemy of good dentition, reports Le Soir Monday. “Many dentists have noticed the harmful effects of cannabis at the dental health level,’’ explains Véronique Seha, general dentist, lecturer on the impact of smoking on oral health at the Fonds des affections respiratoires (Fares). Studies prove that the reefer is more harmful for the mouth than the cigarette is.

    Dentists have observed that the cannabis smoker can show “coloring, dental erosion, more cavities or missing teeth, sensory disorders, fungus and precancerous lesions,’’ notes Mrs. Seha who specifies that “the dosage and length of time of consumption constitute aggravating factors.’’

    The active substance in cannabis (THC) impacts on the immune system and the decrease of saliva production makes the dental plaque thicker, stickier and harder to eliminate by brushing of teeth. A modification of the oral flora and a weakening of the immune defense can result in favoring the appearance of diseases of the nerve tissue supporting the teeth.

    The fact that cannabis encourages snacking, or that it is associated with alcohol, lack of hygiene or unbalanced diet, also favors mouth deterioration.

    “Any smoker of cannabis (and of tobacco, of course) should consult his/her dentist regularly, who can inform without judging, detect and even treat oral affections, and if necessary, refer the patient to another specialist. It is essential to establish a relationship of trust in order to address this delicate matter and allow therefore the consumer to discuss calmly with the practitioner,’’ adds Mrs. Seha.

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times