(Mirror Daily, United States) – It has been recently established that middle-aged people who have smoked marijuana for a long time are more likely to develop gum disease.
Still, scientists have not found the association between long-term marijuana use and other health conditions related to cigarette smoking. According to Avshalom Caspi, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and co-author of the study, cannabis might have serious side effects but not in every situation.
He added that scientists and everyone need to recognize that long-term marijuana use has some consequences that may lead to health problems. Researchers analyzed 1,037 people born in 1972-1973 in New Zealand until they were 38 years old. Scientists tried to establish whether the participants used marijuana between 18 and 38 years old and if they had any physical health conditions at the age of 38 years old.
The researchers established that 55.6 percent of the 38-year-old adults who smoked pot for 15 to 20 years developed gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. On the other hand, only 13,5 percent of the 38-year-old adults who had never used marijuana developed gum disease.
If the gum is not treated, this disease might lead to tooth loss. Plus, scientists learned that people who smoked marijuana for up to 20 years had flossed and brushed their teeth less than those who had never used marijuana.
According to Dr. Ronald P. Burakoff, chair of dental medicine at Northweell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, experts always knew that smoking was linked to a higher risk of gum disease so it is no surprise that marijuana use might cause periodontal disease.
Furthermore, during the study, scientists also observed the general and dental, physical health of 484 participants who had smoked cigarettes daily for a consistent period. Therefore, they discovered that these people were much more vulnerable to gum disease than the ones who had never smoked.
Plus, these participants were vulnerable to disease related to inflammation, higher blood sugar levels, and lung function as well. It means that marijuana users might also be more likely to develop other health conditions like cancer that may occur when you are older.
In addition to this, other studies have proved that marijuana use is linked to many health problems, such as the worsening of sexual function, brain changes, and weight gain. According to the new results, marijuana is also related to injuries and accidents, poor psychosocial and mental health condition, cancer and infectious disease, acute cardiovascular events, and bronchitis.