Columbia University Medical Center researchers show in a new study that the recreational use of marijuana and other cannabis-related drugs can increase the risk of gum disease.
Gum disease occurs when bacterial infections develop below the gum line. As a response, the body’s immune system causes the affected gum tissue to become inflamed. The inflammation aims to kill off the bacteria behind the infection. Inflammation is painful and causes the gums to become red and tender. Many patients with gum disease also develop swelling and bleeding as an effect of inflammation.
If left untreated, gum disease can develop into serious health issues, like cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and low birth weight in babies.