Can CBD Provide Relief From Dental Pain

Wondering what’s causing your toothache? Toothaches occur from inflammation of the pulp or central portion of the tooth, which has nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. Inflammation of the pulp, called pulpitis, can be caused by a cavity, trauma, or infection. Pain also can be referred, which means it originates from other areas – ears or sinuses, for example -and radiates to the jaw, causing tooth pain. [1]

Increasingly, cannabidiol (CBD) is being touted for a range of health and wellness issues, so it’s natural to ask if it can help with dental pain. First, you need to understand how CBD works. CBD is one of the over 60 cannabinoids or naturally-occurring chemicals found in industrial hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is made up of endocannabinoids or neurotransmitters that send chemical messages between neurons, the cells that transmit nerve impulses to affect pain response, lower inflammation, and aid injury recovery as well as control other functions of the body such as sleep, appetite, and immune response.

CBD Reduces Inflammation

Research on animal models suggests a connection between CBD oil and inflammation. “...the cannabinoid seems to be able to interact with the immune system, reduce inflammation and reduce pain from a number of conditions.”[2]

 Specifically related to CBD and its effect on toothaches, a study from the University of Uberaba in Brazil analyzed the effects of CBD on dental bones of rats with induced periodontitis. The researchers concluded that the rats treated with CBD oil had less bone loss and fewer inflammatory agents than the control group. [3] At this time, no trials have been conducted on humans relative to CBD and toothaches. However, by reducing swelling due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can prevent further buildup of pain or at least make it easier to deal with the pain.[4]

 

CBD and Other Dental Pain

A toothache isn’t the only cause of dental pain. Other dental pain may be helped by CBD, including:

Gum Disease

When plaque builds up around the teeth because of bacteria in the mouth, it results in gum or periodontal disease. Gum disease left unchecked can cause pain, swelling and gum bleeding. At its worst, gum disease can result in tooth loss.[5] CBD has special anti-bacterial properties that help in healing gum disease. The presence of bacteria in the mouth slowly decreases, and the gums start getting better and stronger. CBD also reduces inflammation taking place in the mouth.[6]

Teeth Grinding

CBD can help with excessive daytime teeth clenching and grinding, called bruxism, because it helps relieve stress and anxiety, which contribute to the problem. Nighttime grinding is more a mechanical problem caused by collapsing airway or sleep apnea, which CBD cannot address

TMJ/TMD

TMJ or TMD is a clicking or popping in the temporomandibular joint that can cause a lot of pain. The joint becomes inflamed due to a bad bite, teeth grinding, a trauma to the jaw, sleep issues or poor orthodontics. CBM may calm the inflammation in the joint and help reduce the pain. [7]

 

 While CBD may be effective for dental pain from a number of conditions, especially in reducing anxiety and lowering inflammation, it will not fix the underlying problem. You’ll want to see your dentist to diagnose and treat the “root” cause of dental pain.

 

[1] Reviewed by Frisbee, Evan, “An Overview of Toothaches,” WebMD, November 17, 2020. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/toothache
[2] “CBD Oil for Inflammation,” Weedmaps, accessed July 18, 2020. https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd/cbd-oil-inflammation#
[3] Benatti, Bruno B. et al. Effects of a Mikania laevigata extract on bone resorption and RANKL expression during experimental periodontitis in rats. Journal of Applied Oral Science [online]. 2012, v. 20, n. 3 [Accessed 30 June 2021] , pp. 340-346. Available from: <https://doi.org/10.1590/S1678-77572012000300008>. Epub 31 July 2012. ISSN 1678-7765. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1678-77572012000300008.  https://www.scielo.br/j/jaos/a/WT7gbYZ9nP4LYS4KgcQBCxQ/?lang=en#
[4] Langdon, Kimberly, “CBD for Tooth Pain 2021 – Does It Help with Toothache?”, June 4, 2021, HealthyCanal. https://www.healthcanal.com/best-cbd-oil/tooth-pain
[5] Sybertz, Alyssa, “CBD for Dental Pain, Anxiety, and Problems: Does It Work?, The Healthy, May 7, 2021. https://www.thehealthy.com/dental/cbd-for-dental-pain-and-anxiety/
[6] “Can CBD help with Gingivitis and Gum Disease,” AAPainManage,” November 18, 2020. https://www.aapainmanage.org/can-cbd-help-with-gingivitis-gum-disease/
[7] Sybertz, Alyssa, “CBD for Dental Pain, Anxiety, and Problems: Does it Work?”