And You Thought Candy Was Bad For Your Teeth!

by DavalosMcCormack on February 8, 2008

Talk about reefer madness. First came the news that trying to quit smoking marijuana left heavy users as grumpy, irritable and as angry as folks trying to quit smoking tobacco. Now there’s news that lighting up a doobie can increase your risk for gum disease. Definitely nothing to smile about!

Researchers in New Zealand found that regular use of marijuana in young adulthood – between the ages of 18 and 32 – increased a person’s risk of developing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease (and no, I don’t know why it’s dontal not dental) is the most common chronic disease in adults that can cause inflammation of the gums and even cause loss of teeth.
This was not just because the smokers were so stoned they forgot to brush. The findings held up even after allowing for regular tooth brushing, flossing, gargling with Listerine etc.

But here’s a dilemna. What if your dentist prescribes you medical marijuana for a health condition. Do you do more damage smoking it than by not! Oy!

Less Sleep Could Mean More Weight for Kids

Children who don’t get enough sleep could be at increased risk of becoming overweight or obese. That’s according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The researchers analyzed the results of 11 different studies on sleep, children and obesity. The amount of sleep recommended in the studies varied from 11 hours a night for children under age 5, to ten hours for children over 5.

What they found was that children who got the least amount of sleep on a regular basis were 92 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. The good news is that with each additional hour of sleep a child gets, their risk of obesity drops 9 percent.

Similar findings have been seen in adults and while researchers are not quite sure why lack of sleep may lead to obesity, there is some evidence to show that lack of sleep affects levels of certain hormones, which are also linked to weight.

So if you are trying to lose weight or avoid putting it on, make sure you get a good night’s sleep because the more you sleep the less you eat.
Not So Fast Grandad, What’s That You’re Hiding Behind Your Back?

When it comes to ‘fessing up about smoking, apparently your grandparents are not entirely trustworthy. Hey don’t blame me, it’s the folks at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine who are saying that. Personally speaking, I love your grandparents.

Anyway. The researchers looked at studies involving self-reported non-smokers between the ages of 18 to 90. They compared the participants self-reported habits to measures of cotinine (a by-product of nicotine) in their blood, to see if they really were non-smokers.

They found that 6 percent of 18-34 year olds lied about being non-smokers. But among people over the age of 75, that number rose to 25 percent.

Why did they lie? Who knows, but it’s possible that the growing stigma against smokers made them tell a fib.

What’s more important is that it raises questions about any smoking study that relies on self-reported tobacco use or non-use.

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