The study, published in the Feb. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is believed to be the first to explore whether or not smoking a substance other than tobacco – in this case, marijuana more than other cannabis products – may be a risk factor for gum disease.
After controlling for tobacco smoking, gender, socioeconomic status and infrequent trips to the dentist by one-third of the participants, the study reported a “strong association between cannabis use and periodontitis experience by age 32.”
Study participants who reported the highest use of cannabis were 1.6 times more likely to have at least one gum site with mild periodontal disease – compared to those who had never smoked cannabis.
This group’s risk of having at least one site with more severe gum disease was estimated to be more than three times higher than the group who never used the substance.
Researchers defined the group of heavy cannabis users as participants who reported an average of 41 or more occasions of substance use per year between ages 18 and 32, equivalent to smoking the substance almost once a week through that period.
But people who reported even some cannabis (fewer than 41 times a year) were more likely to have mild and severe gum disease than people who never used the drug.
“In the United States, we think about periodontal disease as being a problem after the age of 35,” said James D. Beck, Ph.D., Kenan professor of dental ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. “These findings, that almost 30 percent of individuals at age 32 had periodontal disease, indicate that this younger group may need more attention.”
The 903 participants are part of a longitudinal study of a group of children born at Queen Mary Hospital in Dunedin, New Zealand, between 1972 and 1973. The recent study’s senior author is W. Murray Thomson, Ph.D., a professor of dental public health at the Sir John Walsh Research Institute at the University of Otago’s School of Dentistry, in Dunedin.
Study participants received dental examinations at age 26 and a similar examination at age 32, and they gave self-assessments at ages 18, 21, 26 and 32 on their cannabis use during the previous year. In an effort to control for tobacco use, participants reported their tobacco use during four periods: up to age 18, ages 18 through 21, ages 21 through 26 and ages 26 to 32.
The study suggests that the benefits of public health measures to reduce the prevalence of cannabis use may carry over to gum disease. Additionally, researchers wrote, studying a possible association between cannabis use and periodontal disease in other populations “should be a priority for periodontal epidemiological research.”
Other study authors were Richie Poulton, Ph.D., David Welch, Ph.D., and Dr. Robert J. Hancox, all of the department of preventive and social medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, the University of Otago; Jonathan M. Broadbent, the department of oral sciences, University of Otago; and Terrie E. Moffitt, Ph.D., and Avshalom Caspi, Ph.D., with the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and with the departments of psychology and neuroscience, psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University.
Funding was provided by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Institute of Mental Health, both components of the National Institutes of Health; the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom; and the Health Research Council of New Zealand, which supports the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit.
Note: To schedule an interview with Dr. James D. Beck, contact Deb Saine at (919) 966-8512 or firstname.lastname@example.orgSchool of Dentistry contact: Deb Saine, (919) 966-8512 or email@example.com
News Services contact: Clinton Colmenares, (919) 843-1991 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb Saine | EurekAlert!
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy