Can CBD mouthwash help with gum disease and other mouth problems?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), oral diseases are a significant burden for many countries. 

These diseases also affect people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement, and even death (1). 

It is estimated that oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people (2). In the United States alone, 64 million adults suffer from periodontal disease (bacterial infection of the gums and teeth), according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (3). 

Some common mouth problems may include:(4)

  • Canker sores and cold sores – painful sores on the lips and in and around the mouth due to bacteria or viruses
  • Thrush – a yeast infection that results in white patches in the mouth
  • Dry mouth – lack of saliva, caused by some medicines and certain diseases
  • Bad breath – may be temporarily remedied by xylitol-containing breath mints or chewing gum 
  • Gum disease – can vary in severity from slight tenderness of the gums and spotting of blood during brushing, to bleeding and pus-filled gums that begin to recede, causing teeth to fall out.

Meanwhile, cannabidiol (CBD) has continued to spread its influence in the health, beauty, and wellness products industry.

Even oral care products giant, Colgate, is coming up with its seven-product CBD line, including three kinds of toothpaste, two types of mouthwash, and two lip balms.

With CBD’s well-cited effects treating inflammation and fighting bacteria, it makes sense that CBD becomes an essential ingredient in many oral health products.

A CBD mouthwash delivers an antibacterial solution to hard-to-reach areas in the mouth, around gums and in between teeth.

Benefits of CBD: What the Research Says

CBD has been shown to be a potent agent for killing bacteria that may cause infection.

A study that examined the antibacterial effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated that cannabis-derived oil can effectively destroy bacteria and combat infections (5). 

Studies have also shown that CBD oil may reduce pain and inflammation. 

Published in the Future Medicinal Chemistry journal, results of a study exhibited cannabinoids’ significant potential to be used as anti-inflammatory agents (6). This anti-inflammatory mechanism of cannabidiol is unique to cannabis.

In another study, which was published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, cannabinoids CBD and THC showed non-psychoactive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pain characteristics (7). 

Although the studies were not specific to CBD alone, it is known that full-spectrum CBD hemp oil contains all compounds found naturally in cannabis. 

The full spectrum of cannabinoids, essential oils, and terpenes all work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each cannabinoid, resulting in an entourage effect. 

This phenomenon shows that the combined therapeutic benefits of all cannabinoids are much higher than the total benefits from individual components.

The research and literature on CBD’s ability to reduce inflammation, as well as its natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, are what probably led many CBD enthusiasts to believe that CBD may be an excellent tool to use in the national battle against gum disease.

The Advantages of CBD Mouthwash 

CBD mouthwashes and other dental products for oral care (like cannabis toothpaste) take advantage of the cannabis plant’s powerful antibacterial properties.

Antibacterial mouthwash or mouth rinse is an excellent way to take care of oral health.

The right CBD mouthwash can add a new dimension to one’s dental health. When used to supplement a typical brushing routine, CBD mouthwash can help reduce the buildup of harmful plaque, possibly preventing or reducing the need for dental procedures, like fillings. 

CBD mouthwash can also reduce bad breath, as CBD works to kill bacteria in the mouth. More importantly, an excellent CBD antibacterial mouthwash prevents gum disease.

Conclusion

The inclusion of CBD in mouthwash for the cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory and antibiotic characteristics is intended to aid reduction in gum swelling while helping to eliminate infection-causing bacteria.

Compared to ordinary mouthwash, CBD mouthwash has more benefits for promoting oral health. 

However, studies on the specific use of CBD for any particular health condition is still lacking. Moreover, there has not been any longitudinal study that examined the effect of CBD on oral health when used for an extended period. 

  Individuals looking to try CBD products for oral care, such as CBD mouthwash, for alleviating symptoms of periodontal disease, should only do so after a consultation with a doctor experienced in cannabis use.


  1. WHO. (2020, March 20). Oral Health. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health.
  2. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet 2018; 392: 1789–8583.
  3. American Academy of Periodontology. (2012, Sept 4). Half of American Adults Have Periodontal Disease. Retrieved from https://www.perio.org/consumer/cdc-study.htm.
  4. MedlinePlus. (2017, Jan 2). Mouth Disorders. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/mouthdisorders.html.
  5. Klingeren, B & Ham, M. (1976). Antibacterial activity of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. 42. 9-12.
  6. Nagarkatti P, Pandey R, Rieder SA, Hegde VL, Nagarkatti M. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Med Chem. 2009;1(7):1333–1349. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93.
  7. Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245–259. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s1928.
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