Using CBD For Dental Care: Treat Anxiety & Pain Naturally
CBD has been exploding in popularity as a treatment for everything from anxiety to fibromyalgia. It’s even in an FDA-approved drug for epilepsy. CBD for dental care is a versatile natural compound that has many uses for wellness. It may even be helpful in endodontic therapies.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a molecule found naturally in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. CBD is extracted from hemp plants, cannabis plants with very low concentrations of THC, which is the psychoactive molecule in marijuana responsible for causing the “high.”
If CBD doesn’t cause a high, how does it work for pain management and anxiety? CBD stimulates the body’s endocannabinoid system, which consists of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body used in cell-to-cell communication. These receptors are found in high concentrations in the nervous system.
When people use CBD, it attaches to the cannabinoid receptors, changing how cells signal to each other, particularly in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. It can alter how people feel pain, nausea, and even emotions.
What is CBD used for? CBD is used for epilepsy, anxiety, pain management, nausea and vomiting, and even eye disease treatment. Most patients use CBD oil for their CBD treatment.
4 Dental Uses For CBD
In addition to treating problems throughout the body, CBD also has oral health uses. For example, studies have shown that CBD can fight the germs that cause plaque just as well as toothpaste.
What are the benefits of CBD dental care? The benefits of CBD dental care are improved oral health, reduced pain levels, decreased oral inflammation, and lowered anxiety levels during dental procedures.
The 4 main uses for CBD in general dentistry are:
- To relieve dental anxiety
- To improve your sleep
- To relieve pain
- To reduce inflammation
1. To Relieve Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is widespread. Up to 19% of the population experiences this fear. For people predisposed to anxiety, even the gentlest hygienist or dentist may not completely quell the nervous feeling they get when they sit down for an appointment.
Along with choosing a dentist who specializes in helping patients cope with dental anxiety, like the dentists at Rejuvenation Dentistry, you can use CBD to help calm your nerves before dental procedures.
CBD is well-known for its ability to reduce anxiety. When CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it affects the function of certain neurotransmitters, which in turn helps reduce the anxious feelings patients experience.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, CBD may be able to help. Avoiding dealing with your dental health may not be an option, but reducing your anxiety is.
2. To Improve Your Sleep
CBD is also an excellent sleep aid. It’s great for reducing both anxiety and pain, two primary reasons why people struggle to sleep. There’s also evidence that CBD helps improve sleep directly.
Good sleep is critical for both oral and overall health. Poor sleep can lead to an entire suite of health problems, from headaches to causing car accidents because you’re overtired. If you’re having a hard time sleeping, CBD may be able to help.
3. To Relieve Pain
Dental pain can be caused by many issues. The most common reason for dental pain is poor oral health, including tooth decay, gum disease, and other conditions. Patients can also experience some pain after procedures like dental implant placement or root canals.
CBD is a well-known analgesic (pain reliever), and a body of research has shown that CBD is effective in treating the types of pain that dental patients experience. It has been proven to alleviate inflammatory, nerve, and even surgical pain.
Combined with less painful dental treatments like ozone therapy and laser procedures, CBD can make your next visit to the dentist pain-free. Visit a biologic dentist for the least invasive procedures, coupled with cutting-edge treatments like CBD.
4. To Reduce Inflammation
CBD has many anti-inflammatory properties, and using CBD can reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can cause many health problems, and inflammation in the mouth is particularly dangerous because it can lead to an extensive suite of health problems.
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is strongly linked to inflammation. Inflammation in the gums can travel throughout the body, causing major health issues like heart attacks and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Inflammation can also affect how you heal from dental procedures, including dental surgery. Using CBD to reduce excessive inflammation can also speed up the healing process as it decreases pain.
Possible Side Effects
Although CBD is natural and nontoxic, some patients experience side effects when they use it. The most common side effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in body weight
However, these side effects are relatively rare.
Choosing High-Quality CBD For Dental Care
Due to the recent surge in the popularity of CBD, there is an abundance of CBD products on the market. How do you choose the most effective, highest-quality CBD products to use?
First, ask your medical professional for recommendations. Dentists and doctors who use CBD in their practice will be able to recommend brands that work well without harsh side effects. Book a consultation with us if you want to discuss your personal needs for CBD dental care.
Items to look for in CBD products to ensure quality:
- The CBD content is on the label: The label should tell you exactly how much CBD is in the product or provide a very narrow range. If the amount of CBD in the bottle is listed as a more extensive range, that’s a sign that the product is not a good option.
- THC levels: Your CBD products should contain virtually no THC.
- Full-spectrum oils: CBD extracts made from the whole plant (full-spectrum) are generally of better quality.
- Extraction process: Does the CBD manufacturer use cheap, toxic solvents to extract the CBD from the cannabis plant, or do they use safe solvents like pure ethanol?
- Growing conditions: How were the cannabis plants grown? Look for plants from high-quality, nutrient-rich soils with very levels of toxic metals.
- Independent lab testing: Has the purity and content of the CBD been tested by an independent lab?
CBD For Great Dental Care, Here.
If you have specific questions about using CBD for oral health care, please contact our dental practice. Our dentists (DDS) will create a plan to help you use CBD to improve your dental health. Remember, your oral health affects the health of the rest of your body.
At Rejuvenation Dentistry, we include CBD in our practice whenever necessary, whether it’s for standard cleanings and checkups, treating tooth decay and gum disease, or even cosmetic procedures like porcelain veneers and teeth whitening.
We also specialize in treating patients with dental anxiety. If you’ve been putting off your visit, this is your sign.
Click here to make an appointment at our Manhattan or East Hampton offices. We take top-notch care of new patients and old friends alike.
CBD Oil for Gum Disease
Over 47% of adults over 30 are living with some form of periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), and some are turning to a novel treatment option: cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, and it’s being researched as a potential remedy for everything from anxiety to epilepsy to chronic pain.
So what does the research say about CBD oil for gum disease?
Potential Benefits of CBD for Your Gums
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that occurs when plaque accumulates around the teeth and is fueled by the bacteria that live in the mouth. To prevent and reverse gum disease, you have to get the plaque and the bacteria under control. CBD may provide some help here.
We don’t yet fully understand the benefits—or lack thereof—of taking CBD oil for gum disease, but we do have a growing number of clinical studies that show promise. While CBD won’t likely cure gum disease, it may help with certain symptoms and effects. For instance:
CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties
CBD has been shown to have pain-inhibiting properties
CBD has been shown to have antibacterial and antiseptic properties
CBD has been shown to reduce plaque colonies
CBD has been shown to help with anxiety
Let’s look at how each of these research areas relates to gum disease.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of CBD
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce gum inflammation, a common gum disease symptom.
Multiple studies have attested to the inflammatory potential of CBD. One study in particular examined the impact of cannabidiol on rats with joint inflammation. The researchers concluded that topically applied CBD was able to reduce the rats’ pain and joint swelling without significant side effects.
While much of the research is focused on general inflammation and not on gum disease in particular, the results may have relevant implications. For instance, the anti-inflammatory qualities of CBD oil may be useful for addressing minor tooth decay, toothaches, tooth sensitivity, and swollen gums—all of which can be caused or exacerbated by inflammation.
It’s also important to note that gum inflammation doesn’t just affect the mouth. Bacteria in the gums can seep into the blood supply and cause inflammation in remote parts of the body, including the heart. So the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD may soothe more than just the gums and teeth.
CBD May Inhibit Pain
Cannabidiol has shown the ability to block pain signals to the brain, providing relief from various aches and pains.
A toothache is commonly caused by inflammation originating in the pulp inside the tooth. While the anti-inflammatory qualities of CBD might help to address this, the general pain-fighting characteristics of cannabidiol may provide additional relief.
Studies have shown that cannabidiol may be effective not only for reducing inflammation but for blocking pain signals to the brain. In a review of 18 major trials conducted on the topic of CBD and other cannabinoids for pain, 15 of the trials demonstrated significant analgesic effects when compared to placebo.
While many of these trials focused on the full spectrum of cannabinoids (cannabis compounds) and not just CBD, the results are nevertheless noteworthy as many CBD oil products contain most or all of the major cannabinoids working in concert.
In addition, other studies have shown that CBD on its own may be helpful for chronic and intractable pain. This cannabinoid appears to increase the release and bioavailability of natural pain mediators like serotonin.
In other words, if you’re experiencing toothaches as a result of gum disease, CBD oil may provide some relief.
CBD Fights Bad Bacteria in the Gums
Studies show CBD’s ability to act as an antiseptic and antibacterial, potentially fighting gingivitis
A growing body of research reveals that cannabidiol may be a natural antibiotic. Studies have shown that CBD fights even highly resistant bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Clostridioides difficile. CBD may also weaken and kill a range of microorganisms in addition to common bacteria, which could mean good things for gum disease sufferers.
Dentists commonly prescribe antibiotics to fight the bacteria responsible for gum disease. While this type of treatment usually needs to be complemented with scaling, root planing, and other procedures, the antibiotics alone can go a long way toward slowing and helping to reverse gingivitis and more serious periodontal diseases.
Some studies have gone so far as to declare CBD as effective as tetracycline, azithromycin, and other leading antibiotics, though more research is needed. If additional studies reveal the same promise, CBD may ultimately be recognized as a new class of antibiotics.
CBD Could Reduce Plaque Colonies
As previously noted, oral bacteria feed off of plaque inside the mouth. Without the presence of plaque, the bacteria can’t trigger the infections that lead to gum disease. That’s why so many toothpastes emphasize their plaque-fighting capabilities.
One study specifically looked at the effects of cannabidiol and other substances on oral plaque colonies in laboratory dishes. The study’s author concluded that CBD was able to destroy plaque more effectively than many major types of toothpaste.
It’s important to note that the author of the study is the founder of a company that advocates for medical cannabis in dentistry. However, her company’s own natural toothpaste was outperformed by CBD in the study.
CBD May Help With Dental Anxiety
Several studies, including one control study from Brazil, have demonstrated the potential for CBD to address anxiety. The Brazilian study included 57 men, each of whom was given 300mg of oral CBD or a placebo prior to a public speaking event. The CBD resulted in a significant reduction in anxiety while the placebo had no effect.
The reason for CBD’s anti-anxiety effect could be similar to the reason for its pain-fighting effect. Interactions with the body’s endocannabinoid system can alter the behavior of the brain’s neurotransmitters (like serotonin and dopamine). Some of the same neurotransmitters responsible for quelling pain are also responsible for easing anxiety.
While more courage won’t necessarily reverse gum disease, it might make it easier for fearful patients to seek out the treatment they need with a licensed, experienced dentist. By taking a dose of CBD prior to an appointment, the patient may feel more at ease and able to manage the apprehension associated with major dental work.
How to Use CBD Oil for Gum Disease
There are many ways to take CBD oil: tinctures, gummies, topicals, and even teas. The classic, familiar CBD oil comes in the form of a tincture: Just place a couple of drops under the tongue and let the oil absorb into the bloodstream.
Still, the optimal dosage and delivery system may depend on what you’re trying to achieve.
Best Way to Use CBD to Treat Inflamed Gums
While any oral CBD product may provide some level of pain, anxiety, or inflammation relief, not every delivery system is ideal for localized treatment (e.g. gum disease). Your best bet is to start an oral care regimen using CBD toothpaste & mouthwash.
One study even concluded that CBD mouthwash may be as effective as a prescription oral rinse for killing bacteria. While the research was industry-sponsored, it reinforces much of what we already know about the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of CBD.
Best of all, the process is as simple as replacing your existing toothpaste and mouthwash with the CBD variety. Use twice daily.
If you can’t access CBD toothpaste and mouthwash, you can purchase standard CBD oil and add a couple of drops to your regular toothpaste and to your tea. This may help you to achieve some of the same antiseptic benefits.
How to Use CBD for Dental Phobia
If you’re just nervous about your upcoming appointment and you want to put your mind at ease, opt for a CBD delivery system that goes right to the bloodstream. In this case, a tincture might actually be your best bet.
Everyone responds to different dosages, but the general recommendation is to take 1.5mg of CBD oil for every 10 pounds you weigh. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you might start with a dosage of 22.5mg and adjust up or down as needed.
Take one dose the night before your appointment, and then take another dose the morning of your appointment. This is especially important if you’re new to CBD, as the compound won’t be as effective the first time you use it. The first dose is known as the loading dose, as it takes time for the CBD to build up in your fat cells.
Can CBD Oil Cure Gum Disease?
There is no substitute for professional dental care, particularly when it comes to serious conditions like gum disease. If not properly treated, gum disease can cause severe pain, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss, so it’s important to act quickly and seek out the assistance of a trained professional.
With that said, CBD may help to:
Slow the progression of gum disease
Reverse some of the effects of gum disease
Relieve some pain and inflammation associated with gum disease
Ease your anxiety when you do visit the dentist
While we’re still working to understand the role of cannabidiol in oral care, the outlook is mostly positive so far. CBD appears to impact the oral microbiome in a good way, and when you consider that it’s well-tolerated by most people, there’s no reason not to incorporate it into your oral care routine. Think of it as a complement to your gum disease treatment, and not a replacement for complete dental care.
If you have other specific questions, our Beverly Hills periodontal services specialize in fixing sensitive gums. We can help with both minor and severe gum disease. Get in touch today for more information.