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Toothaches have existed for thousands of years! It is definitely one of the most uncomfortable pain conditions and almost always a sign of the need for treatment. A toothache should always be taken seriously, but you can try to relieve it at home with natural means. In this article, we will learn about dental health and the possible effects of cannabinoids and CBD oil in the treatment of toothache!
What causes a toothache?
Usually, the cause of toothache is a hole caused by damage to the tooth enamel, which has progressed to the root of the tooth. Through the created hole, the root system and nerves can get into the pulp, which causes pain. There can be other reasons for cracking, for example a cracked tooth, a blow to the teeth or an infection at the root of the tooth. Tooth extraction also causes pain, as well as crooked or rubbing teeth can be painful and cause challenges, e.g. I bite. Nighttime teeth grinding may be accompanied by both toothache and stiffness and pain in the jaws, neck and temples. (1)
After various procedures, such as filling or tooth extraction, toothache is quite common. If it does not go away in a few days, it is necessary to contact the doctor treating the tooth again.
The first feeling of a hole starting is a small tingling sensation caused by cold or heat, which passes in a moment. Slowly, if left untreated, the hole deepens and the swelling increases, eventually causing swelling in the jawbone. At this stage, it is usually a good idea to go to the dentist to treat the hole at the latest, because as it progresses further, the hole will drill all the way to the root, and food and drink reaching the nerve at the root will cause pain, which no painkiller can help with anymore. (1)
Inflammation of the sinus may radiate to the teeth as a throbbing pain. At its worst, the pain can cause insomnia and anxiety . A severe, unbearable toothache indicates an acute need for treatment, which is no longer worth treating only with home remedies. Then you should make an appointment with the dentist without delay and tell them about the need for immediate treatment.
Backgrounds of dental health
Today, we are lucky to have the opportunity to correct even difficult oral problems with the help of dentistry. Effective anesthetics even offer a completely pain-free treatment experience, and regular check-ups help prevent the biggest challenges.
Things haven’t always been this good. Dental inspections only started in Finland at the end of the 19th century, and earlier information about human dental health comes mainly from archaeologists familiar with osteology and their studies. It seems that, at least during the last few centuries, human teeth have been in very bad shape already at the age of 20-30, and that is why the treatment of toothache has been one of the most important medical skills. (2)
Maintenance of dental health
Keeping your teeth in good condition is not simple, but in the end it’s all about the little things. The condition of the teeth is influenced by both genes and environmental factors, but also by your own way of caring for your teeth.
The quality of the food eaten is of great importance, and it already starts with the diet during pregnancy. Teeth need different minerals and trace elements to stay strong and shiny. When teeth are bones, they especially need calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C and D (3).
Hunter-gatherers didn’t seem to have much of a problem with their teeth. It wasn’t until the introduction of grains to the dining table 10,000 years ago that teeth also started to change, and by no means in a positive direction. (2)
Dental care is an important part of the daily routine. In addition to brushing your teeth in the morning and evening and flossing once a day, regular oil brushing is a research-based treatment that promotes oral health.
Acid attacks, or actually the amount of them, is a significant factor behind dental health. Acid attack is caused by the reaction caused by the sugars and carbohydrates contained in the food eaten, where the bacteria in the mouth form acids that dissolve the minerals of the tooth enamel. Teeth can withstand 5-6 acid attacks a day and almost every food and drink causes them. From the point of view of the teeth, it is important to create a regular eating rhythm and stick to it, avoid constant snacking and eat treats immediately after food! (4)
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic tradition of treating the mouth and teeth. The oil that ends up between the teeth and in the gum pockets cleans and cares for the teeth and gums, but also collects bacteria. The oil is carefully squirted in the mouth right after waking up approx. 20 minutes, after which it is spit out. (5)
For oil pulling, you should reserve an antibacterial oil, such as coconut oil. Sesame seed oil or a mixture of several oils is also often recommended. (5)
In Canada, several dentists recommend the use of CBD oil to promote dental health. Adding CBD oil to the pulling oil could be a very significant help for gingivitis, periodontitis, canker sores and ulcers, as well as promoting a good bacterial balance in the mouth. (5)
Drug treatment for toothache
A toothache can be relieved with common painkillers available at the pharmacy, but it is almost always good to find out the cause of the toothache. Sometimes the pain may be caused by food stuck between the tooth and the gum or slightly inflamed gums, but if the pain does not subside with natural means, with a standard mild painkiller or within a few days, the cause is probably something that needs to be fixed by a dentist. The medical treatment after the procedures is decided by the treating dentist!
Toothache home treatment
Toothache can also be relieved with natural means at home, but depending on the cause of the pain, it should be done carefully. Cloves are numbing, and gargling with clove water may relieve the pain, as can chewing fresh ginger. Gargling with salt water cleans the mouth and may calm swollen gums. Pressing a piece of ice inside the cloth against the cheek where the tooth hurts can also help!
According to studies, there are many ways to prevent a starting hole from growing. Gargling the mouth and teeth after eating cleans the mouth and between the teeth. Correcting the diet in a grain-free direction may help, as well as avoiding sugar and especially sugary drinks. Careful tooth brushing and interdental cleaning are the minimum requirement for healthy teeth and significantly reduce cavities, gum damage and periodontitis (inflammatory disease of the mouth caused by bacteria). (3)
The endocannabinoid system in dental health
The endocannabinoid system is the body’s general regulator, which monitors the body’s functions and tries to keep everything in as good a balance as possible. The endocannabinoid system consists of endogenous endocannabinoids and their dispersing molecules, as well as cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system is also involved in the background of the functions that take place in the teeth, oral mucosa and gums.
The best-known endocannabinoids are AEA or anandamide and 2AG, or arachinodylglycerol. In studies targeting the common dental disease periodontitis, it has been found that AEA has an anti-inflammatory effect on dental health, while 2AG seems to promote inflammatory processes (7).
CBD oil to support toothache and dental health
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) has been used especially in Asian medicine for thousands of years. It has been used for toothache and probably also for caries and to maintain general oral health. Based on current research, dental health is also affected by other active substances in hemp, such as terpenes. (6) This is called a synergistic effect and it can read more here .
CBD oil is not a miracle substance that removes toothache like a painkiller, but it may be helpful in general dental care and at the time of pain.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in hemp that has many properties that have a positive effect on health. CBD is e.g. anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatory), antibacterial and tissue growth-promoting cannabinoid. It has also been found to have pain-relieving properties.
In addition to CBD (cannabidiol), many other phytocannabinoids have also been recognized as promoting dental health. One study compared the effects of cannabinoids and well-known toothpastes on plaque, and cannabinoids were the clear winner! The study involved CBD (cannabidiol), CBC (cannabichromene), CBN (cannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol) and CBGA (cannabigerolic acid). (8)
A study has also been conducted on mouthwashes which showed that cannabinoids are as effective or more effective than alcohol and chlorhexidine commonly used in mouthwashes (9).
CBD is also availabletoothpaste containing CBD toothpaste contains a full-spectrum hemp extract, which, in addition to CBD, also contains other hemp active substances and cannabinoids. About toothpaste and its more specific content, you can read more here.
Taking care of your dental health is important, as bad teeth can even lead to a heart attack in the worst case scenario. The positive effect of CBD on dental health has been recognized, but more studies are still needed so that cannabinoids can be used even better and more widely in the future. Especially on the foreign market today, there are a wide variety of dental care products containing CBD, which may be of significant help in the prevention of various dental problems. However, the most important thing is to take care of a versatile diet and take care of your teeth daily!
- Könönen E.. 2021. Health Library Duodecim. Toothache. https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/dlk00810. Referred on 19/09/2022
- Kimari L.. 2016. Medical magazine. Witches did invaluable work in a time before dentists. https://www.hammaslaakarilehti.fi/fi/uutinen/noitamuorit-tekivat-korvaamamonta-tyota-aikana-ennen-hammaslaakareita. referenced on 19/09/2022
- Honkala S.. 2019. Health Library Duodecim. Structure and development of teeth. https://www.terveyskirjasto.fi/trv00003. Referred on 19/09/2022
- Finnish Dental Association. Healthy eating habits. https://www.hammaslaakariliitto.fi/fi/suunterveys/yleistietoa-suunterveydesta/ravinto-ja-suunterveys/terveelliset-ruokatottumukset#.Yy9MMi06pQI. Referred on 19/09/2022
- VKL Shanbhag.. 2017. Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198813/#__ffn_sectitle. Referred on 19/09/2022
- Lowe H., Toyang T., Steele B., Bryant J., Ngwa W. and Nedamat K.. 2021. The Current and Potential Application of Medicinal Cannabis Products in Dentistry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8466648/. Referred on 19/09/2022.
- Andrukhov O., Bantleon HP, Moritz A., Rausch-Fan X. and Özdemir B.. 2014. Endocannabinoids and Inflammatory Response in Periodontal Ligament Cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4165771/. Referred on 19/09/2022
- Stahl V. and Vasudevan K.. 2020. Comparison of Efficacy of Cannabinoids versus Commercial Oral Care Products in Reducing Bacterial Content from Dental Plaque: A Preliminary Observation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6991146/. Referred on 19/09/2022
- Vasudevan K. and Stahl V.. 2020. Cannabinoids infused mouthwash products are as effective as chlorhexidine on inhibition of total-culturable bacterial content in dental plaque samples. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819473/. Referred on 19/09/2022