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Heavy Marijuana Use Linked to Gum Disease

By February 12, 2008

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It is well documented that tobacco smoke contributes to gum disease, but now a new study has found a link between heavy marijuana use and periodontal disease. People who smoke marijuana more than 40 times a year are much more likely to develop gum disease before age 32.

W. Murray Thomson of the school of dentistry at The University of Otago, New Zealand examined more than 900 frequent smokers of cannabis. Frequent smokers were considered those who smoked 40 times a year since age 18. Thomson found that heavy marijuana smoking was responsible for one-third of the new cases of periodontal disease between the ages of 26 and 32 in the group.

"Heavy cannabis use has been linked to greater risks of developing respiratory disease and some psychiatric conditions," said Terrie Moffit, a Duke University professor who participated in the study. "Gum disease should be added to that list of known hazards."

Physiological Effects Unknown

Most of the heavy marijuana users also were tobacco-users, but that factor was controlled statistically, the researchers said. Even when the researchers focused on participants who were not tobacco-users, and they still found a link between marijuana use and gum disease.

Thomson said the physiological effect of marijuana smoke on the gums is not understood, but it could interfere with immune function, inflammatory response and peripheral blood flow in the gums.

The study was published in the Feb. 6, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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February 12, 2008 at 3:47 am
(1) Dick B. says:

A Persistent Voice for Christian Recovery from Alcoholism Today
- even in the 12 Step Fellowship to which I belong

Dick B., 2008, http://www.dickb.com/index.shtml

I’d like to have oodles of Christians know that I came into the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous almost twenty-two years ago. I was a very very sick man and in lots of trouble. I saw the word “God” on the wall at my third meeting and believed I was in the right place. I haven’t had a drink or abused a mind-altering prescription drug since the first day. I tried thoroughly to follow the A.A. path—abstinence, daily meetings, service commitments, frequent communication by phone, studying A.A.’s Big Book (the basic text), taking and practicing the Twelve Steps, participating in lots of fellowship activities (picnics, campouts, conferences, retreats, dances, sobriety parties, “meetings after the meeting,” and lots more). I paid particular attention to seeking out still-suffering newcomers who were willing to go to any lengths to get well. And I sponsored more than 100 and helped most to a rebirth. I’m still doing that newcomer work to this day. A day never passes without service to some new person, or hurting old timer.

That’s the A.A. thing. And before long, I realized how vital it was to do what I learned that A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob did. I had to pick up my Bible, study it daily, pray, seek God’s guidance and strength, and ask Him in the name of Jesus Christ for healing, forgiveness, and deliverance. That was an important part of my own successful cure and also of the message I carried and still carry to new people. That message was carried to Bill Wilson even before A.A. was founded. Bill’s friend Ebby said to Bill: “God has done for me what I could not do for myself.” Later, even before Bill met Bob and founded A.A., Bill Wilson said to the wife of A.A. Number Three: “Henrietta, the Lord has been so good to me curing me of this terrible disease that I just want to keep telling people about it.” And A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob echoed the message by assuring newcomers that: “Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!” They need salvation.

Using those Christian tools, including conversion to Christ, early AAs in Akron achieved a documented 75% success rate among seemingly helpless, “medically incurable,” real alcoholics who went to all possible lengths to establish their relationship with God and seek His help. And that result and success rate is just as available to Christians today as it was in the mid-1930’s in Alcoholics Anonymous. That was before there was any Big Book. It was before there were any Steps—no six steps, no twelve steps, no steps at all. It was before the so-called Twelve Traditions. In fact, the message was so powerful that A.A. Number Three—attorney Bill Dotson—got well in his hospital sick bed by simply hearing and believing what Bill and Bob told him—that God could cure him. He was a Christian, like Bob and Bill. He sought God’s help; and when they returned to visit him, he announced that he was free, walked out of the hospital with his wife, never drank again, and participated substantially in Akron A.A.

Just like Bill Wilson and his partner Dr. Bob Smith, I want to tell everybody that will listen—whether in or out of a 12 Step Fellowship—that I have been cured of alcoholism and that I give our Creator full credit and thank Him daily in the name of Jesus Christ for my renewed life.

Gloria Deo
Dickb@dickb.com

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