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Ask a Stoner: Why Does Cottonmouth Last So Long?

Think your fresh breath will survive an hour after smoking with no water? Forget it.
Think your fresh breath will survive an hour after smoking with no water? Forget it.
Shutterstock

Dear Stoner: Why does smoking weed make my mouth so dry for the rest of the day? My girlfriend knows that I’ve smoked hours after the high wears off, like she can taste it.
Dry Mouf

Dear Dry Mouf: Your girlfriend doesn’t notice pot in your mouth hours after you smoke it, just its drying effects, according to well-known dentist and bacteriologist Dr. Harold Katz. Smoking reduces saliva flow to your mouth, he says, leaving more food debris there while also keeping bacteria that causes bad breath alive. “If dry mouth is left untreated, it can take its toll on a person’s oral health and cause many side effects,” Katz notes.
“Consequences include oral fungal infections, mouth sores, cavities, gingivitis, receding gums, tooth abcesses and even a loss of teeth.”

Think your fresh breath will survive an hour after smoking with no water? Forget it.
Think your fresh breath will survive an hour after smoking with no water? Forget it.
Shutterstock

Cottonmouth is one of the most annoying side effects of smoking. Try to remember to carry water at all times — something potheads rarely do — or your girlfriend will continue to hate on that dry, barren wasteland when she’s forced to kiss it. You’re probably not smoking enough to have a mouth that looks like a garbage disposal, as Katz describes it, but you’d still be smart to stay diligent with your oral health. Your girlfriend will thank you.

Have a question for our Stoner? E-mail marijuana@westword.com or call the potline at 303-­293-­2222.

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