Pot Downer: Marijuana users risk gum disease | Science News

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Pot Downer: Marijuana users risk gum disease

1:02pm, February 6, 2008

It's a bummer, man.

Young adults who regularly smoke marijuana face an increased risk of severe gum disease, scientists report. The study is the first to link pot smoking to a health danger that's more commonly associated with tobacco.

The findings arise from a long-term study of people born in the 1970s in Dunedin, New Zealand. Researchers there have monitored this group regularly, conducting periodic interviews about lifestyle and health and collecting data from medical exams. For this study, the scientists analyzed 903 people and noted the results from four dental checkups done between the ages of 18 and 32. These revealed any signs of periodontitis, an inflammation in which the inner layer of the gums and bone pull away from the teeth, ultimately loosening them. The researchers counted the number of spots in which gums had receded in each person and noted the severity of these detachments.

Meanwhile, the scientists assessed participants' use of marijuana, also

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