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Cannabis and Dry Mouth - A Surprising Bad Breath Risk

By – Bad Breath Expert
Posted: July 11, 2017, Updated: October 9, 2017
SUMMARY: With cannabis becoming legal for recreational use in more places, its effects on chronic bad breath have suddenly become relevant.

With legal cannabis comes yet another source of mouth dryness.

With cannabis products becoming legal for recreational use in states across the country, it's time to think about how these items fit into daily life. We've previously discussed how diet can affect bad breath. Drying out the mouth, whether it's through alcohol or sugary foods, can lead to an increased risk of bad breath, giving bacterial reactions the environment they need to thrive. As it happens, the age-old specter of marijuana-related dry mouth is yet another possible source of odor.

Sometimes, it's worth taking a moment to look around at how much society has changed - ten years ago, would it have seemed likely to be discussing the bad breath implications of legally available recreational marijuana products? Yet here we are, and responsible, legal age users of these items have to work them into their lives like any other hobby.

Weed out the real issue

The past decade-and-change has seen scientists focus on elements such as the "dry mouth" feeling that comes from the use of cannabis products. Studies on this very topic were carried out by the University of Buenos Aires. The research linked the saliva reduction to THC, the ingredient that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties.

"While there was an assumption that marijuana smoke dried the mouth out, the blame actually lies with the chemical compounds at work."

The research is actually a fascinating twist on old myths - while there was an assumption that smoking marijuana naturally dried the mouth out due to heat and smoke, the blame actually lies with the chemical compounds at work. That means that there is a great chance of dry mouth even when the method of cannabis consumption doesn't involve smoking - edibles, vaporizing and other methods also act as THC delivery systems.

Marijuana seed provider Sensi Seeds adds detail gleaned from the Buenos Aires study, explaining that the submandibular glands, which produce over half of the mouth's saliva, contain cannabinoid receptors. When these receptors interact with the substances found in THC, their normal activity ends up blocked. This is complex science at a microscopic level, but the end result is quite simple: less saliva and a feeling of mouth dryness, which can lead to further problems.

Watch out for dry mouth
While dry mouth may seem to just be an inconvenience, it can lead to other health issues. We recently spoke to the White Mountain Independent about this very issue. In short, when there isn't enough saliva in the mouth, all the important functions fulfilled by this substance - breaking down food debris, fighting viruses, reducing the amount of bacteria - become less effective.

Marijuana products aren't the only cause of mouth dryness - not by far - but they are one of the less-discussed. Cigarettes are another potential risk item, as are a host of different medications and alcohol. The dry mouth symptoms caused by alcohol can be even more serious than the kind stemming from cannabis use, with saliva and oxygen both reduced and the mouth at the mercy of harmful bacteria.

Restoring saliva, protecting the mouth
Fortunately for sufferers of dry mouth, whatever the cause, there are products that can restore proper saliva production and defend against continued issues including bad breath or even gum disease. This focus on healthy saliva coincides with TheraBreath's mission to create products that counter bad breath by attacking the causes rather than just covering up the symptoms. It also stands in stark contrast to some kinds of mints and mouthwashes that contain sugar or alcohol, respectively, and can make problems worse instead of better.

The following are a few of our relevant products that can deliver relief from dry mouth:

  • Dry Mouth Oral Rinse: This is a mouthwash formulated with saliva enhancers, moisturizers and natural salivary enzymes to counter dry mouth and restore the healthy production of saliva. The product is about getting the body functioning the way it should rather than creating an unnatural reaction - the human mouth contains its own best defense systems.
  • Dry Mouth Lozenges: There are hundreds of mints and lozenges in the world, and many of them cause problems instead of solving them. The problem comes from the substances in these products, such as sugar. Why use a mint that runs the risk of worsening mouth dryness? TheraBreath's lozenges use the natural sweetening agent xylitol and are based on a three-step action to freshen the mouth.

The legalization of cannabis products has brought a new reason to pay attention to dry mouth symptoms. From alcohol to sugars, items that block the natural production of saliva are fairly common, and therefore solutions that attack the problem at its source will always be relevant.

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