The beginning of a new year is a perfect opportunity to make a fresh start and set new personal and professional goals. With the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, dental hygienists urge everyone to think carefully before using cannabis, given its negative impact on oral health.
“Cannabis use has many side effects that can alter the state of our mouths, teeth, and gums,” explains Tracy Bowser, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). “We know that cannabis reduces saliva, leading to dry mouth. And those famous ‘munchies’ increase the time that teeth are exposed to sugars. As a result, cannabis users have a higher risk of cavities, gum disease, and oral infections.”
Dental hygienists—experts in oral health promotion and disease prevention—know that good oral health is essential for physical and mental well-being. As primary health care providers, they work with you to develop individualized oral care plans and can offer guidance on healthy food and lifestyle choices. Before beginning any dental hygiene treatment, they will remind you that cannabis use may increase bleeding and slow healing, and will confirm that your capacity to consent to care isn’t impaired. “Dental hygienists want you to enjoy optimal oral and overall health in 2019 and beyond, which is why they are ready to have the cannabis conversation,” adds Bowser. Schedule your next dental hygiene appointment today to learn more about the impact of cannabis on your oral health or visit www.dentalhygienecanada.ca/cannabis.
Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 29,549 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 19,000 individual members including dental hygienists and students. Dental hygiene is the sixth largest registered health profession in Canada with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit www.dentalhygienecanada.ca.