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CBD & Oral Health: What Does the Research Say?

Written by Lisa Rennie

Taking care of our teeth typically requires regular dentists visits and keeping some toothpaste and floss handy. But some research suggests that we may also want to consider adding cannabidiol (CBD) to our repertoire of oral care products.

Gum Disease

Gum disease–otherwise known as periodontitis–is a type of infection that can cause harm to the soft tissues in the mouth. If not treated in a timely and appropriate manner, it can damage bones. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

Pre-clinical research has linked CBD to anti-inflammatory effects; in fact, the cannabinoid may help prevent significant inflammation of the gums and help slow tooth loss.[1]


Proper oral care involves fighting tooth decay and cavities, both of which can be caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque can develop when food remnants are left on the teeth for a long time. Certain foods can accelerate this process, such as carbohydrates.

Bacteria can thrive in the mouth as a result of the presence of plaque, which can inevitably lead to the production of acids. Acids can damage enamel and may lead to cavities and gingivitis. Brushing with toothpaste and flossing every day can help remove plaque from teeth. But aside from the conventional fluoride-based toothpaste products on the market, CBD may also play a role in getting rid of plaque.

In one small study, dental plaque was collected from participants and treated with various substances, including CBD. Compared to traditional toothpaste, CBD and cannabinoids were shown to rival common oral products in terms of keeping plaque at bay.[2]

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity may not always require a pain reliever to alleviate discomfort, depending on severity. Instead, CBD may help to calm tooth sensitivity to hot or cold. The cannabinoid has been shown to reduce pain by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors and calming inflammation that can contribute to tooth pain.[3]

CBD appears to play a potential beneficial role in oral health, pending greater study, but you should also first speak with your dentist or doctor before adding CBD to your regimen.

Image Credit: Jenny Friedrichs

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  1. Napimoga MH, et al. Cannabidiol decreases bone resorption by inhibiting RANK/RANKL expression and pro-inflammatory cytokines during experimental periodontitis in rats. Int Immunopharmacol. 2009; 9(2):216-222.
  2. Stahl V & Vasudevan K. Comparison of efficacy of cannabinoids versus commercial oral care products in reducing bacterial content from dental plaque: a preliminary observation. Cureus. 2020; 12(1):e6809.
  3. Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008; 4(1):245-259.

About the author

Lisa Rennie

Lisa Simoneli Rennie has been working as a freelance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content dedicated to informing consumers. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others, and in her spare time, Lisa enjoys trying funky new recipes, spending time with her dog, and of course, reveling in the joy of family.

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