Management of cannabis-induced periodontitis via resective surgical therapy: A clinical report

J Am Dent Assoc. 2017 Mar;148(3):179-184. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2016.10.009. Epub 2016 Nov 18.


Background and overview: There is a lack of clinical research on the potential effect of cannabis use on the periodontium as well as its effect on treatment outcomes. The aim of this case report is to illustrate the clinical presentation of periodontal disease in a young woman who was a chronic cannabis user, as well as successful treatment involving motivating the patient to quit cannabis use and undergo nonsurgical and surgical therapy.

Case description: A 23-year-old woman sought care at the dental clinic for periodontal treatment. During a review of her medical history, the patient reported using cannabis frequently during a 3-year period, which coincided with the occurrence of gingival inflammation. She used cannabis in the form of cigarettes that were placed at the mandibular anterior region of her mouth for prolonged periods. Localized prominent papillary and marginal gingival enlargement of the anterior mandible were present. The mandibular anterior teeth showed localized severe chronic periodontitis. The clinicians informed the patient about the potentially detrimental consequences of continued cannabis use; she was encouraged to quit, which she did. The clinicians performed nonsurgical therapy (scaling and root planing) and osseous surgery. The treatment outcome was evaluated over 6 months; improved radiographic and clinical results were observed throughout the follow-up period.

Conclusions and practical implications: Substantial availability and usage of cannabis, specifically among young adults, requires dentists to be vigilant about clinical indications of cannabis use and to provide appropriate treatments. Behavioral modification, nonsurgical therapy, and surgical therapy offer the potential for successful management of cannabis-related periodontitis.

Keywords: Cannabis; gingival enlargement; marijuana; nonsurgical therapy; oral health; periodontal disease; periodontal surgery; periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Periodontitis / chemically induced*
  • Periodontitis / surgery*
  • Young Adult