Got a toothache? Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a chemical extracted from hemp plants that doesn't give you a high and can be used for pain relief. While there have not been many tests or studies done on using CBD oil for oral or… CBD oil has been gaining popularity as a pain reliever. Read further to find out if it’s an effective treatment for nagging tooth pain. CBD has been mentioned as a potential pain reliever for many types of physical discomfort, but can it specifically target toothaches? What are the benefits of CBD for dental health?
How to Use CBD Oil for Tooth Pain
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Rising. Hunter Rising is a wikiHow Staff Writer based in Los Angeles. He has more than three years of experience writing for and working with wikiHow. Hunter holds a BFA in Entertainment Design from the University of Wisconsin – Stout and a Minor in English Writing.
There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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Got a toothache? Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a chemical extracted from hemp plants that doesn’t give you a high and can be used for pain relief. While there have not been many tests or studies done on using CBD oil for oral or dental pain, you can still try using it to see if it works for you. Start by choosing a high-quality CBD oil product for the most effective treatment. After that, apply the oil directly to your tooth or swallow the product to start feeling relief. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before starting CBD and discuss long-term treatment with your dentist!
Is CBD Effective at Relieving Nagging Tooth Pain?
You may have heard of CBD being used to treat joint pain, nausea, sleep disorders, and many more conditions or symptoms. But have you ever considered if CBD would be an effective solution for nagging tooth pains?
Tooth pain is one of the most inconvenient and bothersome feelings we experience. And unless you have a dentist readily available to help you treat your dental dilemma, even minor symptoms of dental pain can ruin your day.
In this article, we’ll dive into the research around CBD and its effectiveness in treating tooth pain.
What Is CBD?
CBD is widely recognized as a popular natural remedy when it comes to naturally sourced treatments for those suffering from pain.
You may have many questions about CBD, even if you’ve already used it as a treatment. Its popularity has emerged over the years. However, CBD is not just a fad. The truth is, CBD is here to stay. As more people (including medical professionals) recognize the natural powers of CBD, these products are becoming more in demand.
If you are new to the world of CBD products & treatment, there’s no need to be intimidated. You may see CBD a lot in the media, marketed products, or even health journals. It may be popular, but it’s also a very beneficial method for a range of treatments.
In short, CBD refers to cannabidiol, which is one of the most notable active ingredients found in marijuana (aka cannabis) plants. While CBD does derive from the hemp plant (the cousin of the mariajuana plant), it does not provide the psychoactive effects or “high” feeling that cannabis products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, will produce.
CBD is not a cure; however, it has been shown to provide relief for many symptoms that result from health conditions. CBD can help relieve an extensive range of health symptoms without the risk of developing a dependency.
How does this work? CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) within our body. The ESC typically contains natural cannabinoids made in the body and their cannabinoid receptors- when these interact, the ECS can regulate bodily functions like pain, appetite, or mood. CBD is a cannabinoid that, when ingested or applied to the skin, also interacts with cannabinoid receptors to affect these functions.
Over time, numerous studies and trials have led to FDA-approved forms of CBD treatments that are effective & safe to use.
Can CBD Oil Help With Dental Pain?
Dental pain can refer to a range of symptoms, including tooth sensitivity, aches, cavities, and more. While CBD oil can provide relief for some of these symptoms, others may require attention from a dentist for proper treatment.
So, let’s start by talking about toothaches– one of the most common (and irritating) forms of dental pain. More often than not, toothaches are caused by an inflammation within or around the teeth/gums. Once the swelling begins, so does the toothache.
Research shows that there is a considerable amount of data that demonstrates CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. Some people may take an over-the-counter pain relief medication such as Advil. However, this method does not directly target your pain source in the way that CBD products can. If you are looking for immediate relief for your toothache, it may be more helpful to apply a CBD spray, oil, or tincture (safe for oral use) onto the affected area.
It’s also important to note that infected gums can cause dental pain that is more severe than your typical toothache. While CBD is not a total solution to these infections, it can help reduce the severity. A 2020 study noted that CBD oil could provide nutrients within the gums that help regulate the function of bacterias. This study also concluded from their research that CBD performed well compared to other treatments to reduce plaque.
Overall, one can conclude from the abundance of research on this topic that CBD can effectively relieve toothaches & other causes of dental pain. However, it’s important to remember that this does not cover every factor of dental pain, and some cases will need attention from a professional dentist.
Common Methods of Taking CBD For Dental Pain
If your dental pain is exceptionally severe or connected to a certain dental condition, your dentist should be the person to help you find the proper method of treatment. However, in less severe cases like common toothaches, CBD can be an extremely effective natural remedy.
When flossing isn’t getting the job done, it might be a good idea to grab some CBD to help relieve your pain. The most common CBD methods for tooth pain include capsules/edibles, as well as CBD oil tinctures.
CBD oil tinctures are an excellent method when you are looking for fast relief. That being said, if you’re looking for immediate results, there are different ways to achieve this with CBD oil. When you are shopping for your CBD, it helps find a product that comes with a dropper for your tincture.
The first method you can try is taking the dropper, apply a few drops of CBD oil to your finger (wash your hands first), or a q-tip. Then take your finger/swab and gently apply the CBD oil to your gums, targeting the source of your pain. The second method you can try with CBD oil is adding it to your toothpaste. Add about 1-2 drops of CBD oil to the toothpaste on your toothbrush and start brushing. As you brush, try to give extra attention to the areas surrounding your gums where the pain is coming from.
Using CBD oil tinctures will most likely take around 20 minutes to start working. If you don’t mind waiting longer to feel relief, you can try taking CBD edibles or capsules instead, which can provide results within an hour or two.
Can I put CBD oil on my gums?
Before you treat your gums with CBD oil, remember to make sure your product is safe for use. Check your CBD oil label for any warnings that advise against applying the product orally.
Once you’ve confirmed that it can be used orally, you can apply it to your gums. It’s recommended that you apply a small amount (1-2) gently around your gums, or you can add it to your toothpaste, as previously mentioned.
Can you brush your teeth after using CBD oil?
Yes, but we recommend allowing the CBD oil to absorb in your mouth before you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth after using CBD oil, be cautious to avoid swallowing the toothpaste/CBD.
How much CBD should I take for pain?
In terms of dental pain, the average suggestion is to take around 25mg of CBD per dosage. If you would like to start smaller, 15mg-20mg might be a good starting dose.
Can I drive after taking CBD oil?
CBD does not provide any psychoactive effects. Therefore, it will likely not impair your ability to drive. However, it’s important to check with your local laws and restrictions, as they differ among regions. That being said, you are most likely safe to drive after taking CBD oil. The only exception might be if the CBD product you’ve taken contains THC, it can impair your driving. Stay safe.
Are there any known negative side effects of using CBD?
The research available on CBD suggests that there are rare cases of side effects. The potential side effects are not common & typically mild but include dry mouth, nausea, or fatigue. In order to prevent adverse side effects, make sure your CBD dosage is reasonable concerning the recommended amount.
How long does CBD oil stay good for?
Most CBD oils on the market will eventually expire, with an average shelf life that ranges from one to two years. Before you take your CBD oil, remember to check the label for information about the expiration date/shelf life.
CBD and Dental Pain: Does Hemp Oil Help with Toothaches?
CBD is praised for its ability to address different types of pain. For example, there are studies indicating that CBD may help reduce pain in cancer patients, but the analgesic potential of cannabidiol reaches far beyond such extreme cases. People are using it for less serious discomfort, such as toothaches and other dental problems.
Does CBD oil help with dental pain? To understand the link between these two, we need to take a closer look at the potential causes of toothaches. Then we’ll be able to provide the answer.
CBD Oil for Dental Pain & Toothaches
CBD modulates the activity of cannabinoid receptors, which are found in the central nervous system, immune system, and other organ systems. Through this interaction, CBD helps lower inflammation in the body, which is a common source of pain, including toothache. However, the cause of the pain should be diagnosed by a dentist. Simply using CBD for dental pain won’t solve your problem.
This section sheds light on all areas of use when it comes to CBD and dental health.
CBD Oil for Toothache: The Science
The research into the use of CBD for dental pain is scarce. One study from the University of Uberaba in Brazil analyzed the effects of CBD on dental bones of rats with induced periodontitis. The authors confirmed that the rats treated with CBD oil had less bone loss and lower inflammation markers than the control group (1).
Of course, it takes more than just one study to draw specific conclusions on this subject, so we’ll need to see more human trials before CBD becomes widely accepted among dental professionals.
However, in the meantime, lots of resources have been fueled into the research into CBD for relieving pain and inflammation caused by other health conditions.
According to a 2020 review published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, CBD is immune-suppressive and anti-inflammatory (2). Moreover, cannabinoids have been mentioned in the scientific literature as novel anti-inflammatories that could be used in the management of pain that is difficult to treat (3–4).
CBD Oil for Gum Disease: Does It Work?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease involves an infection of the gums triggered by the build-up of plaque around the teeth. That build-up is fueled by the bacteria that occupy the mouth. If left unattended, it can lead to pain, swelling, and bleeding in the gums. In extreme cases, it may even result in tooth loss.
CBD acts as a nutrient for the oral microbiome. The presence of CBD oil contributes to healthy bacterial diversity. In one study where a dental plaque was collected from patients and treated with active compounds in laboratory dishes, CBD did better at reducing plaque colonies than several types of toothpaste.
The latest research on gum disease indicates that it stems from an imbalance in the oral microbiome, and products containing CBD appear to be one of the potential solutions to the problem (5).
CBD for Tooth Sensitivity
Pain caused by tooth sensitivity comes from the outside, unlike toothache, which originates inside the tooth. When the roots of the tooth become porous, the nerve inside gets sensitive. So if you eat ice cream or drink cold juice, it can make your teeth hurt. CBD is known for its ability to mitigate nerve pain, so it could potentially improve tooth sensitivity. However, it still remains a theory until human studies are conducted on this subject.
CBD for Cavities and Tooth Decay
Every time you eat food, the byproducts are metabolized by the bacteria in your mouth, which leads to lower pH levels. This can contribute to the demineralization of the teeth, which is how cavities form. Eating and drinking too often prevent the teeth from re-mineralizing or re-building their structure. Unfortunately, CBD isn’t able to directly stimulate remineralization because it’s not a building block for the process.
CBD for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, or bruxism can be divided into two separate problems: daytime grinding and nighttime grinding. Daytime grinding often derives from stress or anxiety, so CBD may come in handy due to its anxiolytic and antidepressant-like properties. Nighttime grinding, in turn, is more of a mechanical issue, such as sleep apnea or a collapsing airway. CBD helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle, so it may also reduce the grinding. However, it won’t fix or prevent a collapsed airway.
CBD for TMJ/TMD
This relatively new term refers to a clicking or popping sound in the temporomandibular joint that can cause much pain. The joint connects the jawbone to the skull. It can become inflamed due to a range of factors: a bad bite, teeth grinding, poor orthodontics, compromised facial development, trauma to the jaw, or sleep issues.
Although CBD oil doesn’t target the underlying cause of TMD, it may lower inflammation in the jawbone to the skull joint and thus reduce the pain caused by TMJ. In a randomized, double-blind trial published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, participants with TMD in the test group used topical CBD on the joints twice daily for two weeks, while patients in the controlled group applied a placebo ointment. At the end of the trial, the CBD group reported a 70% reduction in pain compared with just 10% relief in the placebo group (6).
Does CBD Cause Dry Mouth?
The dry mouth sensation is the universal side effect of all cannabis plants, including CBD-rich hemp. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the salivary glands, slowing down the secretion of saliva. This is a problem for people with dental pain because salivation plays a vital role in cleaning your teeth, keeping their minerals concentrated, and preventing cavities.
Fortunately, you can fix the dry mouth with a few simple tricks. You can drink more water or use a mouthwash to facilitate saliva production. Gum containing xylitol also increases the amount of saliva in the mouth. Steer clear of tea, coffee, and alcohol, as they are known for making the dry mouth worse.
What Causes Toothaches?
The majority of toothache cases are caused by an infection inside the tooth known as pulpitis. The middle of the tooth, which is where the nerves and blood vessels are found, becomes soft and pulpy. The nerves enable us to feel the touch and temperature through the teeth, so when the pulp is damaged or infected, we begin to feel pain.
Infections are actually one of the biggest causes of toothaches. They affect both the gums and surrounding bones, causing much damage if left neglected. When the tooth is referred from another area of the body, such as ears or sinuses, this may also contribute to dental pain.
Long story short, causes of toothaches include:
- Gum disease
- Referred pain
- Tooth decay
Infrequent brushing and poor hygiene facilitate bacteria growth. Whenever you experience dental pain, it’s recommended to visit a dentist, especially if the toothache is long-lasting and severe. Moreover, professional check-ups and cleaning should be done every 6 months to prevent dental disease.
Now let’s examine the link between CBD and toothaches.
How to Use CBD for Dental Pain?
People report the most relief from toothache when using CBD topicals. Topical formulations are made for targeting localized discomforts. When CBD oil is absorbed through the gums, it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the mouth, producing anti-inflammatory effects and mitigating pain signaling to the brain.
Here are some popular CBD products for dental pain.
CBD oil is the most common form of CBD. The hemp extract is suspended in an inert oil and applied using a dropper or atomizer under the tongue. You can also add a few drops of CBD oil to your toothbrush with your normal toothpaste. Rubbing the oil with a finger directly onto the painful area and surrounding gums is another way to deliver CBD oil to your system. Alternatively, you can use CBD tinctures, which are a mix of CBD extracts with alcohol. Tinctures are often available in spray bottles to enable easy distribution.
CBD Capsules and Edibles
CBD oil pills, or edibles like gummies, and honey sticks, will not bring the immediate relief that sublingual application does, because it takes a different pathway to reach the bloodstream. When you take an oral form of CBD, it needs to pass through the digestive system before reaching the cannabinoid receptors in your body. This leads to a delayed onset; the effects of CBD capsules and edibles are usually felt after 40–90 minutes depending on the user’s weight, metabolism, and whether they take CBD on a full or empty stomach. However, the effects last longer, usually around 10 hours, so they can be useful if the tooth is too sensitive to the touch.
While CBD gum isn’t the most popular form of CBD out there, it provides you with a convenient and effective way to relieve toothache. Of course, it’s not recommended to chew the gum with the achy tooth, but doing so with another side of your jaw, and sucking the gum’s content, will transport the CBD to the bloodstream through the tiny capillaries in your mouth, increasing its bioavailability.
Again, while not a common product, CBD toothpaste combines everything you need to relieve dental pain. On top of the CBD, toothpaste contains a fat base and additional soothing ingredients such as menthol. CBD toothpaste is considered topical because it is applied directly to the problematic area. As mentioned, you make your own CBD-infused toothpaste by simply adding CBD oil to your regular toothpaste, or from scratch, using a combination of coconut oil, CBD oil, baking soda, and peppermint drops.
How Much CBD Should You Take for Dental Pain?
There’s a limited number of clinical trials when it comes to CBD oil, so it’s difficult to gauge the optimal dosage for every person with dental pain. Aside from the fact that everybody is different — and so maybe the type and severity of pain — the market lacks regulations when it comes to production and labeling standards.
Most studies have tested around 25 mg of CBD at a time, which is what many products currently on the market suggest. But doctors working in the dental sector have found that this dosage is too low to provide consistent results. According to dr. Mark Burhenne, founder of AsktheDentist.com, patients with toothache should start between 60–90 mg for the best results. He also favors the sublingual route of administration since the mouth is very permeable.
Even so, the best practice to determine your personal optimal dosage is to try it. First, make sure to consult your doctor to avoid potential CBD-drug interactions. Then, start with a low dose of, say, 5–10 mg CBD daily, and monitor the effects over the course of one week. From there, gradually increase the dose until you find your sweet spot.
CBD for Dentist-Related Anxiety
At least 30% of people have some degree of anxiety about visiting the dentist. If you’ve had a bad dental experience, especially as a child, that may cause a little trauma in you. CBD acts on the regions of the brain that regulates fear, which can help reduce anxiety in patients before an extraction or root canal. Numerous studies have supported the use of CBD for PTSD and anxiety.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine found that a combination of CBD treatment with psychiatric care resulted in 91% of patients reporting a reduction in symptom severity, with an average decrease score of 28% (7). However, it’s important to note that the study had its limitations. Namely, the trial was open-label, meaning it was conducted without a placebo group. Thus, it’s hard to determine the actual efficacy of CBD without a controlled group.
In a 2019 study from the University of Colorado, the authors concluded that 79% of patients (47 with anxiety and 25 with sleep deprivation) who took CBD daily for one month experienced reduced anxiety levels (8). Again, the study didn’t include a control group, so while the results are promising, we need a study with a more meticulous methodology to further confirm the results.
If you’re stressed due to an upcoming dental check, you can apply CBD to relieve anxiety and improve your stress response.
Final Thoughts On CBD, Toothaches, and Other Dental Problems
While CBD won’t fix underlying dental problems, it’s a versatile tool for the management of toothaches and other dental issues. CBD has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects on the body due to its relationship with the endocannabinoid system. It may help reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of your pain. However, if you want to reach the underlying cause — such as a cavity — and deal with your toothache for good, only your dentist can diagnose and cure it.
Do you take CBD for dental pain? Does it help when you’re waiting for the appointment? Let us know in the comments below!
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- Stahl, Veronica, and Kumar Vasudevan. “Comparison of Efficacy of Cannabinoids versus Commercial Oral Care Products in Reducing Bacterial Content from Dental Plaque: A Preliminary Observation.” Cureusvol. 12,1 e6809. 29 Jan. 2020, doi:10.7759/cureus.6809
- Nitecka-Buchta, Aleksandra et al. “Myorelaxant Effect of Transdermal Cannabidiol Application in Patients with TMD: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial.” Journal of clinical medicine vol. 8,11 1886. 6 Nov. 2019, doi:10.3390/jcm8111886
- Elms, Lucas et al. “Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 25,4 (2019): 392-397. doi:10.1089/acm.2018.0437
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Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.