April 2019

Medical Marijuana and Oral Health

Dental Appointment Marietta GACannabis, pot, hash and weed are common names for marijuana. While once used only as a recreational drug, the medical and health-related benefits of using cannabis continue to show great promise. In fact, many states (not including Georgia) have legalized cannabis, which has undoubtedly increased the number of marijuana users nationwide. While different forms of cannabis have been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, epilepsy in kids, arthritis, sleep problems, migraines and more, it is important to realize the side effects that marijuana may have on both systemic and oral health.

While marijuana can be consumed in various forms (inhalation, oral and topical), the smoking of marijuana seems to produce the most serious and obvious setbacks within dental health. In fact, a study published June of 2016 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, stated that long-term medical marijuana usage increases risks of developing periodontal disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health condition and the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.

Other dental disadvantages and oral health risks from smoking marijuana include the following:

  • Tooth Stains
  • Oral Cancer
  • Dry Mouth
  • Gum Disease
  • Lowered Immune System

The above setbacks are very consistent with those of smoking cigarettes, as any inhaled vapor or smoke can be harmful to the teeth, gums and delicate oral structures. Whether or not medical marijuana is morally right or proven effective, the proposed benefits must be weighed against the consequences it can produce inside your mouth. At the least, you should let your dentist know of your marijuana usage so that your dental health can be monitored more closely. Keep in mind that keeping your oral health in check can also mean protecting your body health.

To learn more about the impact of medical marijuana on your smile health, please contact Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta.

Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD – Atlanta Dentist
1820 The Exchange SE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 953-1752


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Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD.

Our Patient Reviews

4.8 / 5.0

Based on 40 reviews

Missy Stone

I have known Dr. Suway for 30 years. My parents found him originally and made me a believer and life long friend and patient. In the years since, I have recommended my husband, son and friends. I would hear that going to the dentist was a fear of many people. I could never understand that because it was always a pleasure to come to Dr. Suway’s office. His staff are so professional, gentle and kind. It’s nice to see the same faces twice a year. You can tell they love working with him. I tell people that Dr. Suway gives the best shots – you can’t even feel a pinch. My son who hates needles, has no problem getting a shot for a filling. I love Dr. Suway’s personality. When you walk in the office you might hear him singing a country western song. I have porcelain veneers on my front teeth and am so thrilled. It’s been 10 years and they are still white and beautiful. He is an artist and perfectionist who loves to make people happy. I recommend Dr. Suway to become your dentist. He is a man of character and professionalism, yet down to earth. If you choose Dr. Suway, you’ll get an excellent dentist, but also a friend for life.

Dennis & Maria Liber

Dr. Suway is very relaxed and as a result we find that we are very relaxed as well. He takes the time to listen when we have concerns and he answers questions fully. We never feel like he is rushing from us to another patient. When we do need fillings, crowns or any other extensive work, he is concerned that we are comfortable and feeling no pain.

Nealean K. Austin

Through the years, we have found Dr. Suway to be a skillful perfectionist in all areas of his profession. He keeps abreast of and utilizes the latest dental techniques to improve and ensure the longevity of his patient’s teeth. He is a caring, personable professional who always greets his patients with a sincere, ready smile. Dr. Suway is also a ‘confidence booster.’ I say this because by the time I was 30 years old I was wearing dentures. He immediately recognized a self-conscious young wife, mother and professional who needed his professional help. His approach to boosting my confidence was through dental implants. At that time dental implants were a relatively new procedure. Dr. Suway carefully explained to me the advantages of dental implants and was proactive in working with my insurance provider to ensure that they understood the correlation between the required dental procedures and health plan benefits. I can smile with confidence forever because of Dr. Suway. Dr. Suway’s staff is a mirror image of his positive professionalism. They are always courteous, knowledgeable, efficient and personable. Appointments are scheduled at your convenience. You know that your time is valued because at the precise time of your appointment you are greeted, then immediately seen by either Dr. Suway or a hygienist. His work is outstanding and he is one of a kind.

Allison Lewis

My husband and I have been patients of Dr. Suway since 1988. Dr. Suway and his staff have provided us with state-of-the-art oral health care in a pleasant, friendly and compassionate environment for many years. Dr. Suway has done many procedures for me including root canals, crowns and a bridge. His work is beautiful. He is truly a perfectionist and that is exactly what I want in a dentist. I would never trust my smile to anyone other then Dr. Suway.