• Tooth pain may be caused by minor tooth decay, a loose filling, or by gum recession that exposes some areas of the root surface(1). Tooth filling, tooth extraction, or root canal can relieve tooth pain(2).
  • Studies suggest CBD may have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects(3), which may also indicate CBD’s potential to help with tooth pain.
  • No clinical trials have been conducted to ensure the safety and efficacy of CBD for alleviating toothaches. Individuals are advised to consult with a dentist or health professional before using CBD for tooth pain.

How Does CBD Help With Toothaches?

Studies show cannabidiol (CBD) may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties(4). CBD may also have an antibacterial potential that can help combat infections(5).

Tooth pain is associated with several symptoms like tooth decay, abscessed tooth, and gum infection linked to inflammation and severe pain(6).

The beneficial characteristics of CBD may help alleviate dental pain and swelling and reduce the likelihood of bacterial infection.

What Is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis plant extracts, particularly hemp oil.

CBD and other cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are essential components of medical marijuana(7). However, unlike THC, CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects(8).

In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration relaxed the regulatory requirements for cannabis, allowing researchers to conduct more CBD trials(9).

Hemp was legalized in the U.S. through the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, making CBD legal at the federal level(10).

CBD’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties

A review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2018 analyzed the use of cannabis plants to relieve chronic pain(11). The findings suggested that cannabinoids may have significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

The same review stated that CBD use for the treatment of pain had not been clinically evaluated. However, the anti-inflammatory benefits may be an indication that CBD can also be effective as an analgesic.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) contains the CB1 and CB2 receptors responsible for regulating the body’s immune system. When these receptors are activated, the body’s inflammatory responses are triggered(12).

CBD works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors to help reduce inflammation. This interaction suggests that CBD may indirectly improve the body’s anti-inflammatory response(13).

CBD Research on Tooth Pain

A 2008 review was conducted to determine the safety and efficacy of CBD in pain management. The review stated that Sativex, a cannabis-based oromucosal spray, may be safe and effective for pain relief(14).

Another review published in Future Medicinal Chemistry in 2009 mentioned that cannabinoids, including CBD and delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS to suppress the body’s inflammatory response(15).

A study conducted by University of Belgrade researchers in 2018 mentioned that the side effects of cannabis, when utilized for short-term medical use, tend to be mild or moderate and are generally well tolerated(16).

Findings in the same study suggested that CBD may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. 

Still, to date, there has been no specific study indicating that CBD can help with tooth pain. Well designed, large-scale studies with longer durations are still required to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of cannabinoids, particularly CBD.

How to Use CBD for Tooth Pain

There are different types of high-quality CBD products that individuals can try for tooth pain, depending on their preferred application method(17):

  • Tinctures – CBD in the form of tinctures can be taken using a dropper to apply drops of CBD oil sublingually or under the tongue. Tinctures mix CBD oil with a carrier oil, such as hempseed oil or coconut oil.

This method results in faster absorption of CBD into the system. The compound bypasses the digestive system and is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream(18).

  • Edibles – Examples of edibles are CBD capsules or gummies that are taken orally. Although this method has a more prolonged onset, the effects usually last longer.
  • Vapes – CBD can also be inhaled using vapes. Effects are usually felt immediately as the body absorbs CBD faster through inhalation(19). However, vaping may cause lung damage(20). Consultation with a health professional or physician is recommended before considering vaping for tooth pain.
  • Topicals – CBD toothpaste may be used when brushing teeth for targeted pain relief. Other topicals include CBD creams, balms, and lotions. 

CBD Dosage for Tooth Pain

Most manufacturers of CBD products provide specific dosage recommendations on the brand’s product label. 

However, many of these products come in different forms and with varying levels of potency(21). There is currently no standard dosage to help manage one’s health conditions.

To date, the FDA has not approved any specific CBD dosage for toothaches. As a disclaimer, CBD products are marketed and sold as a supplement and not as tooth pain medication(22).

Benefits of CBD for Tooth Pain

Clinical trials for determining the effectiveness and safety of CBD for managing tooth pain have not been conducted.

However, CBD’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties(23) may be a good indication that CBD can help alleviate pain and inflammation brought by tooth pain.

Risk Factors and Side Effects of CBD

CBD intake can lead to side effects like diarrhea, dry mouth, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and fatigue. CBD also interacts with other medications like blood thinners(24).

If the CBD product has a grapefruit warning, the product is not recommended to be taken together with other medication. CBD is likely to interfere with the effects of other medications(25).

Types of Tooth Pain

There are different types of tooth pain depending on whether the pain feels sharp or dull. The pain can also cause difficulty in biting, chewing, concentrating, or even sleeping. The following are some types of tooth pain(26):

Dull Tooth Pain

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can cause dull tooth pain. This pain can result in sinus headaches felt in the teeth and face(27).

Sensitive Teeth

Sensitivity is usually caused by worn-out tooth enamel or exposed roots. Other causes include cavities, chipped teeth, or worn fillings(28).

Sharp Pain When Biting Food

This type of pain can be caused by tooth decay, cracked tooth, or loose tooth filling that can cause damage to the dental pulp (oral tissue)(29).

Intense Pain and Swelling of Gums

An infection likely causes pain due to a tooth abscess. The infection can penetrate the tissue and bone surrounding the tooth, causing severe pain(30).

Causes of Tooth Pain

The pulp inside the tooth contains sensitive nerves and blood vessels that can cause severe pain when infected or irritated, leading to pulpitis or inflammation of the pulp(31). Causes of tooth pain include:

Tooth Decay

Cavities are damaged areas of the tooth caused by bacteria, sugary beverages, and poor dental health. These factors create holes in the tooth and develop into tooth decay(32).

When left untreated, tooth decay can become more extensive and damage the deeper layers of the tooth, causing toothache and infection.

Tooth Abscess

Bacterial buildup can create pockets of pus around the tooth, developing into a tooth abscess. Abscesses are caused by three types of infection(33):

  • Gingival – The infection appears in the gums but usually does not affect the tooth.
  • Periodontal – The infection develops in the bone or tissues around the tooth. Periodontal infection is common among adults and typically results from gum disease or periodontitis.
  • Periapical – The abscess develops at the root tip. Periapical infection happens when bacteria spread into the pulp through a cavity.

Fractured tooth

Cracked or fractured teeth can be caused by injury or wear and tear. A fractured tooth is associated with pain when biting or chewing food or due to the tooth’s exposure to extremely hot or cold temperatures(34).

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a disease where the gum’s soft tissue is infected, causing damage to the bone supporting the teeth. Periodontitis can loosen the teeth when the bone is destroyed, leading to tooth loss(35).

Alternatives to Help with Tooth Pain

Professional Treatment

Dentists can provide professional dental treatment depending on the type and cause of tooth pain. Some of the dental treatments are as follows(36):

  • Tooth filling – This process involves restoring the tooth’s enamel by filling up the cracked or damaged areas.

If the cavity is discovered early on, the dentist may provide fluoride treatments to reverse the damage. If the damage has progressed, a dental filling is used.

Some materials used for filling include porcelains, resins, or a mixture of other ingredients.

  • Tooth extraction – Damage due to fracture or decay may be severe that fillings or restorations are not enough to fix the tooth. Rather than save the damaged tooth, the dentist can remove the tooth.

This solution creates a gap between the teeth and allows the other teeth to shift and close the gap.

  • Root canal – If the damage to the tooth reaches the pulp, the person may feel severe nerve pain. Dental surgery via a root canal may save the tooth.

In this procedure, the pulp of the diseased or damaged tooth is removed and replaced with filling. To avoid further infection, the dentist may apply medication.

Home and Natural Remedies

Some home remedies may help provide oral health benefits and temporary relief brought by tooth pain. These remedies include(37):

  • Cold compress – Wrapping ice in a towel and applying it over the affected area for 20 minutes can relieve swelling and pain. If the pain persists, this remedy can be repeated every few hours.
  • Saltwater rinse – Saltwater acts as a disinfectant and can be used as a mouthwash to loosen debris stuck between teeth and reduce inflammation.

The rinse is made by mixing half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water.

  • Hydrogen peroxide solution – Rinsing with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution diluted with equal parts of water can help reduce inflammation and pain.

Individuals opting for this remedy should be careful not to swallow the rinse.

  • Over-the-counter pain medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation. Some NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin.

If the person cannot take NSAIDs, another medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used.

  • Baking soda – Mixing baking soda with calcium, fluoride, and phosphate may help manage tooth sensitivity.

Clinical trials conducted in 2009 suggested that baking soda toothpaste may be more effective than regular toothpaste in managing dentinal sensitivity(38).

Some natural or herbal products used to help relieve tooth pain include(39):

  • Vanilla extract – This extract contains alcohol that can temporarily act as a painkiller. Vanilla extract has antioxidants that may help with the healing process.

Vanilla extract is applied to the affected teeth and gums using the fingertips or a cotton ball and done a few times every day.

  • Peppermint tea – Peppermint is known for its soothing effects. A cooled peppermint tea bag can be applied to the affected area by holding the bag against the tooth and gums in pain.
  • Clove oil – This extract is a natural antiseptic that can help manage inflammation and temporarily numb pain.

A small amount of clove oil can be dabbed onto a cotton ball and applied to the affected area. Alternatively, a drop of this extract can be mixed with water and used to rinse the mouth.

  • Garlic – This bulbous plant can be crushed into a paste and applied to the painful area. Garlic contains antibacterial properties and may provide temporary pain relief.

FAQs

1. How can CBD be used for toothaches?

CBD products like edibles or tinctures may help alleviate pain and inflammation(40), suggesting that CBD may also help relieve toothaches.

2. What is the best medication for relieving tooth pain?

NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin can help relieve tooth pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another alternative if the person is unable to take NSAIDs(41).

3. Is CBD illegal?

On a federal level, CBD is legal in the U.S. The states have varying levels of restrictions concerning the purchase and use of CBD products(42).

Studies suggest that CBD may have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects(43). However, CBD has not been approved by the FDA to help relieve tooth pain.

Individuals are advised to consult with a dentistry expert or medical professional before using CBD.


  1. Tooth pain
    https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/tooth-pain/ 
  2. Cavities/tooth decay: Diagnosis and treatment
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352898
  3. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
  4. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  5. The Antimicrobial Activity of Cannabinoids
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400265/
  6. Toothache
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache
  7. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  8. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
  9. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  10. Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019
  11. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
  12. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/
  13. Ibid.
  14. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
    https://dx.doi.org/10.2147%2Ftcrm.s1928
  15. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
  16. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
  17. Towards Better Delivery of Cannabidiol (CBD)
    https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13090219
  18. Best way to take CBD
    https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/best-way-take-cbd
  19. Ibid.
  20. 5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know
    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping
  21. CBD dosing
    https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cbd-dosing
  22. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  23. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
  24. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700
  25. Grapefruit Juice and Some Drugs Don’t Mix
    https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/grapefruit-juice-and-some-drugs-dont-mix
  26. Tooth pain
    https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/tooth-pain/
  27. Ibid.
  28. What causes sensitive teeth, and how can I treat them?
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sensitive-teeth/faq-20057854
  29. Tooth pain
    https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/tooth-pain/
  30. Ibid.
  31. Biological Markers for Pulpal Inflammation: A Systematic Review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127562/
  32. Cavities/tooth decay: Symptoms and causes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/symptoms-causes/syc-20352892
  33. Abscessed tooth
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10943-abscessed-tooth
  34. Cracked teeth
    https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/cracked-teeth/
  35. Periodontitis: Symptoms and causes
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/periodontitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354473
  36. Cavities/tooth decay: Diagnosis and treatment
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cavities/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352898
  37. Toothache: Causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache
  38. Effectiveness of a baking soda toothpaste delivering calcium and phosphate in reducing dentinal hypersensitivity
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20128316/
  39. Toothache: Causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache
  40. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
  41. Toothache: Causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10957-toothache
  42. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  43. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259
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