Can CBD Help Relieve Tooth Pain? Yes, Suggests New Study

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Oral Health

hemp leaf, seeds, and oilA few years back, we took a brief look at some of the early research on how CBD and other cannabinoids could help control harmful bacteria in the mouth. Since then, more studies have been published that support this possibility.

One of these compared cannabinoid-infused rinses to chlorhexidine, a powerful antimicrobial rinse that’s often used to treat gum disease.

Plaque samples were taken from 72 adults with varying degrees of this infection. Those samples were then exposed to several different mouthwashes: a popular alcohol-based mouthwash with essential oils; a popular alcohol-free fluoride rinse; chlorhexidine; a CBD rinse; and a CBG rinse. CBG is another cannabinoid. It’s similar to CBD but binds with different receptors and works in different ways.

Both of the rinses that contained cannabinoids were found to be just as effective as chlorhexidine in killing oral pathogens. The two popular rinses, on the other hand, showed limited antimicrobial activity, especially the one with fluoride.

“Most of the reported studies show chlorhexidine containing mouthwash as the most effective mouthwash,” the authors wrote in their conclusion,

however tooth staining is an unacceptable side effect of chlorhexidine. Therefore, it is not suitable for everyday or frequent use. Cannabinoids (CBD / CBG) infused mouthwashes together with other natural key ingredients shows promising bactericidal activity in vitro against total-culturable aerobic bacterial content in dental plaque, with efficiency equivalent to or better than that of the gold standard (0.2% chlorhexidine).

A note here for those unfamiliar with cannabinoids: Collectively, these are all of the active compounds found in cannabis (marijuana), many of which are also found in hemp. Unlike THC, cannabinoids like CBD and CBG aren’t psychoactive. They don’t get you high, and they’re not addictive. What they do have are useful medicinal qualities.

One of the newest studies dropped earlier this month in the Journal of Dental Research: the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate CBD for dental pain.

Researchers randomly assigned 61 people with severe tooth pain to one of three groups. One group was given a single dose of a pure CBD oral solution called Epidiolex, while another was given a double dose. The remaining group got a placebo. All had their pain then monitored for three hours.

Results were better for those who got the CBD.

An overwhelming majority of those in the CBD groups – roughly 85% – reported at least 50% pain reduction. After three hours, they achieved a maximum median 73% reduction, although with some side effects.

“This study,” the authors wrote,

showed for the first time that pure CBD could provide more than 70% analgesia to patients with emergency dental pain and increase their bite force during the analgesic effect while maintaining a safe drug profile with minimal side effects. This novel study can catalyze the use of CBD as an alternative analgesic to opioids for acute inflammatory pain conditions, which could ultimately help to address the opioid epidemic.

It’s important to note, though, that the participants were taking pure CBD. Just popping some CBD gummies you picked up at Whole Foods, say, isn’t likely to deliver the same results.

Just as importantly, even if you’re able to get temporary relief from tooth pain using any over-the-counter product, you still should see your dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Tooth pain is a signal that something is wrong. Most dental problems don’t get better on their own. They get worse – and more difficult and expensive to treat.

For the time between scheduling and your actual visit, there are a number of natural home remedies that may bring some relief. This article offers a good overview of science-supported options.

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