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Is Cotton Mouth Ruining Your Teeth?

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Regardless of its legality, marijuana is used by many people. One of the most common side effects of using marijuana is developing dry mouth, also known as cotton mouth. Unfortunately, cotton mouth could end up causing serious problems for the health of your teeth and gums. Here's why you should be concerned and what you can do to combat the problem.

What Is Cotton Mouth?

The dryness you feel in your mouth after consuming marijuana isn't just your imagination. Cotton mouth or dry mouth can result from consuming marijuana, regardless of the way that you ingest it. Doing something other than smoking may not have a major impact on how dry your mouth develops. This is because marijuana inhibits the body's ability to produce saliva.

What Is Cotton Mouth's Effect on Oral Health?

It might surprise you to learn that saliva is critical to maintaining good oral health. Dry mouth can increase the development of bacteria in your mouth. This is because saliva helps to wash away excess bacteria, which slows the progression and development of plaque. With less plaque, there's less of a risk of you developing tartar and gum disease. However, when there's less saliva than normal, those same bacteria can stay on your teeth and gums. This can cause inflammation, tissue damage, and cavities.

What Can You Do about Cotton Mouth?

Unfortunately, there's no way to stop yourself from getting cotton mouth while you're using marijuana. However, there are some things you can do to combat the side effects. For starters, drink fluids regularly while you're experiencing cotton mouth. This will help to wash away bacteria in the same way as saliva does.

You can also be more vigilant about your dental health in general. Maintaining a solid routine of flossing and brushing will keep your plaque development to a minimum while you're not under the influence. If you already have gum disease and add cotton mouth to the situation, it will only get worse.

If you're concerned about the health of your teeth, you should visit a professional with knowledge of dentistry . He or she can find out if any damage has already been done. If there is evidence of damage, your dentist will be able to repair it before it becomes severe. Consider keeping your marijuana consumption to a minimum for the sake of your teeth, and remember to keep sipping fluids while you're under the influence.