Science has widely proven that cannabis compounds such as THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and bone-stimulating properties, which can help with many severe conditions. Tooth and gum diseases are included in the list, since cannabinoids can also relieve the symptoms of common ailments such as toothaches.

There is still little research into the applications of cannabis derivatives in dentistry, and the benefits of CBD have not been extensively investigated. Results reported by patients are inconsistent: some found great pain relief from toothache with CBD, some did not.

However, it is increasingly accepted that CBD can possibly treat the symptoms of various chronic conditions, and that the painkilling properties of CBD alone (or in combination with THC) might also be effective against acute conditions, such as some common dental problems. Cannabis derivatives can potentially treat the symptoms of toothaches, abscesses, periodontitis, and other tooth conditions, including post-surgery traumas. Specific topical treatments with cannabinoids are already available in many regions, so let’s have a look at CBD’s potential against toothaches.

Teeth Brush

WHY DO WE GET A TOOTHACHE?

Most toothaches happen because of an infection. The inner part of our teeth contains nerves and blood vessels that make us feel heat, cold, touch, and pain too. This inner part is named dentine, and just like any other part of our body, it hurts when infected.

The clear, sticky film left on your teeth by the food you eat, particularly by starch and sugar, starts up a bacteria farm, which spreads to both the visible and invisible parts of your teeth. Infrequent or improper brushing helps the farm thrive. In the next step, cavities can form and grow deeper into your tooth, causing an infection, a toothache, and eventually the destruction of your tooth. Before that, if the bacteria and their acidic environment are able to reach the dentine, infections can enter the bloodstream, causing swelling, pressure on the nerves, and consequently pain.

Another reason for toothaches is periodontal disease and its related painful abscesses, which affect the gums and bones where the teeth are grafted, resulting in a hollow space between each tooth that becomes deeper over time. Crooked, overlapping, rotated teeth can also cause pain, together with hormonal changes, stress, or a poor diet.

Whatever the cause of pain might be, it is always recommended to visit a medical professional if you have a long-lasting or a severe toothache. Moreover, a professional check-up and cleaning every 6 months or 1 year is always advisable as a method of prevention for any dental disease.

HOW CBD WORKS FOR OUR TEETH

We know that a combination of analgesic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory agents are needed to kill toothaches. An effective anti-inflammatory action is even more desirable than a mere analgesic effect. A bunch of prescription pills and topicals are available for this purpose, but what about a natural remedy? Some of the cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant display these kinds of properties.

Our body creates inflammation for immune purposes, usually in effort to fight a bacterial or viral attack, or a trauma. Some cannabinoid receptors lower the immune response when influenced by CBD, thus reducing inflammation. Our submandibular glands also have endocannabinoid receptors. Here is where a topical antibacterial, antiseptic, and analgesic CBD action might be effective. As evidenced by several studies, CBD is well-known for being both antibacterial and antiseptic, meaning it can help keep microorganisms from breeding in your mouth.

Research also indicates that CBD may be of use to reduce bone resorption in periodontal disease. In this case, the application of the active principle has to go deeper inside the gum. Therefore, at the moment it represents only a promise of a future cannabinoid-based treatment against periodontitis.

This study on periodontitis in rats[1] shows the action of CBD on ill dental bones. Researchers at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Uberaba, Brazil, tested the effects of CBD in an experimental model of induced periodontitis. The analysis of alveolar bone loss demonstrated that CBD-treated animals presented a decreased alveolar bone loss and a lower expression of the typical biochemical inflammation messengers.

How CBD Can Help Relieve Toothache

HOW TO USE CBD FOR DENTAL HEALTH

Assuming oral consumption of CBD is globally considered safe, applying CBD directly to the affected tooth and gums might be a secure, fast, and effective delivery method when trying to relieve a toothache.

Different kinds of CBD products work efficiently to reduce toothaches and bring down the swelling. Oral sprays, oils, and tinctures can be applied right on the affected area, using your (thoroughly cleansed) finger to gently spread the compound on the tooth and nearby gums. You can also empty a CBD capsule or crush a cannabidiol pill, and apply the powder on the affected area. A teabag with high-CBD dried flowers might also work.

When some after-surgery relief is needed, a pad dipped in CBD oil and inserted in the empty space left after a tooth extraction works as an analgesic. The same applies when sensitive gums are sore and need to recover after the periodic deep cleaning performed by a professional. In addition to the analgesic effect, CBD helps keep the area free of bacteria.

Sometimes, it might be better to not even touch the affected or painful area. CBD capsules, oils, and edibles can be taken as a systemic painkiller, but be aware that these methods won’t offer quick relief like the previous ones. Cannabis-infused toothpastes are starting to enter the market, and of course you can create your own CBD-rich formula by adding a drop of your preferred CBD oil to your regular toothpaste. Or, you can even prepare a homemade toothpaste with ingredients like baking soda, peppermint oil, coconut oil, and of course CBD oil. Besides temporary pain control, it is likely that adding CBD to your oral hygiene routine will help fight off the bacteria constantly trying to erode your teeth.

SIDE EFFECTS

Cannabinoids can reduce the amount of saliva you produce. A dry mouth is not just unpleasant, it’s also a good biochemical environment for bacteria farming, and therefore for gum and teeth disease. Smoking, together with coffee, tea, and alcohol, will dry out your mouth and help the tartar form on your teeth. The necessary steps to increase saliva production and avoid the “cottonmouth effect” include drinking water, using a mouthwash, chewing gum, and most of all, brushing and flossing properly and frequently. With good oral health habits, the drying effect induced by CBD and other substances should not be a problem for most people.

Cottonmouth Effect, Causes and Solutions

TALK WITH YOUR DENTIST

The potential of CBD against dental diseases needs to be studied much more before dentists will start adopting it. According to science so far, you could safely use CBD to help reduce toothache, but this should be done upon consultation with your dentist, especially if you have been already prescribed painkillers. Also, even if you are successful in treating your symptoms at home with CBD, remember that only a dentist can solve the dental problems themselves.

Over the coming years, we hope to see good results from research conducted on CBD-infused dental fillings, which could help reduce pain and recovery time after a filling. We are also waiting for the results of studies on the benefits of CBD toothpaste over regular toothpaste.

External Resources:
  1. Cannabidiol decreases bone resorption by inhibiting RANK/RANKL expression and pro-inflammatory cytokines during experimental periodontitis in rats. - PubMed - NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Disclaimer:
This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals resources.

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