A long-term study of approximately 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to the age of 38 has found that people who have smoked marijuana for up to 20 years have more gum disease.
Dr. Clark’s Message: “Please notice the age range of the study was birth to 38 years (the prime of life). We all know that many health problems increase in severity and frequency as the population ages. While this research does not link marijuana to other health problems, there are many studies that link gum disease and the infections and inflammation of gum disease to serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis to name a few. To coin a phrase, we might think of gum disease as a "gateway illness."
The article also quotes Madeline Meier, an assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University and one of the authors of the study, “We don’t want people to think, ‘Hey, marijuana can’t hurt me,’ because other studies on this same sample of New Zealanders have shown that marijuana use is associated with increased risk of psychotic illness, IQ decline, and downward socioeconomic mobility,.”
This study is ongoing and I will be interested to see the results as time goes by.
Stay safe this summer!