(HealthDay News) — Recreational cannabis users are at increased risk of periodontal disease, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Periodontology.

Jaffer Shariff, D.D.S., M.P.H., of the Columbia University School of Dental Medicine in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,938 Americans. Of those, 27 percent reported the use of cannabis (marijuana, hashish, or hash oil) one or more times for at least 12 months.

The researchers found that frequent recreational cannabis users were more likely to have signs of severe periodontitis than less-frequent users (odds ratio, 1.7). The findings held even after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income level, alcohol and tobacco use, diabetes, and past periodontal treatment (adjusted odds ratio, 1.4).

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“The recent spate of new recreational and medical marijuana laws could spell the beginning of a growing oral public health problem,” Shariff said in a university news release.

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