What do you need to know about CBD and keeping those pearly whites, well, pearly? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot! We think it's safe to say that this is a somewhat overlooked area of CBD research, so this is why we have decided to sink our teeth into the information that's out there and lay it all out for you (you're welcome!) CBD has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years, as it lends itself to a vast array of products. There's now capsules, creams, shampoos, toothpaste, and bath bombs, to name just a few! It's an overwhelming CBD world out there, and with this in mind, we have covered the main options open to you and the ones that we recommend for keeping your mouth healthy. So, what do you need to know about CBD and oral health? Well, make sure that you stay tuned to find out!
What is CBD oil?
Let's kick things off by answering the all-important question: 'what is CBD oil?', or (let's face it) you're not going to have a clue what we're talking about. CBD is short for Cannabidiol (gold star if you knew that already), and it's derived from the cannabis plant, or (to get more specific), the Cannabis L. Sativa plant. Did you know that, to date, there have been over 100 cannabinoids identified in the plant? It must be pretty crowded in there! One of the other most widely known cannabinoids is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This cannabinoid has achieved its notoriety mainly due to its psychotropic qualities, when compared to CBD, which is regarded as a non-psychotropic cannabinoid. This is something that attracts people, as they know that when they consume CBD products, it won't negatively alter their state of mind. To make CBD oil, it first needs to be extracted from the plant, and then diluted with a natural carrier oil. Popular choices include hemp seed oil and avocado oil. We here at VAAY have gone for MCT oil from coconut (stay tuned to find out why).
How to take CBD oil
Overwhelmed? Tired? Stressed? Don't worry – plenty of people feel all three of these at once, and that's simply from researching how to consume CBD oil! You see, there are a ton of ways you can consume CBD – if we were to go into detail about every single one, we would be here all day. So, let's simplify things and cover the main methods of CBD consumption. This way, you can figure out what works best for your lifestyle, and compliments your oral health routine. In our humble opinion, it's our CBD Mouth Spray – but more on this later.
If you enjoy eating yummy food (and let's face it, who doesn't?), edible CBD could be just what you're looking for! You can buy a whole host of CBD-infused food and drink, like gummies, coffee, tea, dried fruit, protein bars, and more! Do you enjoy cooking? If the answer is yes, then why don't you try out some recipes for yourself? You could start off slowly, with a healthy CBD infused breakfast smoothie and work your way up to more complicated recipes, or even baking.
Top tip: gather your loved ones together and plan a CBD recipe evening – you could all bring something fun (and CBD-infused) to eat, and you can judge whose food was the best. Of course, be careful not to over-consume your CBD while doing this – as it can be easy to forget that the food contains it! Edibles are super easy to consume while you're out and about for the day, but one drawback could be how long it takes to feel the potential effects. This is because the CBD needs to pass through your liver and digestive system before reaching your bloodstream. And, of course, if you're watching the health of your teeth, you may wish to avoid this method due to sugars that can be present in the food.
In direct contrast to edible CBD, inhaling CBD may allow you to feel the effects within minutes! This is super handy for those of you wanting to reap the potential benefits of CBD for your oral health (don't worry, we'll cover these later.) This type of CBD can be referred to as vape oils or CBD e-liquids, and you use them with a vape pen. The great thing about CBD-infused vape pens is that they don't typically contain nicotine; instead, CBD is the key active ingredient. We have a great line of vape pens here at VAAY, and they come in a range of yummy flavours. If you're feeling sweet, then you should try our fruit pen, or there's lemon or mint for those of you wanting to make your breath smell divine and fresh!
Topical CBD can come in many forms, such as creams, oils, and moisturisers, but they all come with the purpose of being applied directly onto your skin. This type of CBD application is one of the slower working methods on this list, and it's not particularly handy for use on-the-go. While CBD topicals probably wouldn't be your go-to for oral health, they may be great for concentrated and direct use for problem areas of your skin. Take our CBD Active Gel, for example. If you have found yourself working hard in your fitness regime, then it's pretty much guaranteed that your muscles will feel sore. You can use our gel to soothe and massage your problem areas.
Oral CBD is (spoiler alert) precisely what it sounds like – CBD taken orally. You can consume CBD capsules, as these are super easy to use and dose: simply swallow your desired number of capsules whole with some water. There's also the sublingual oral CBD option, and this typically comes in the form of tinctures. By the way, 'sublingual' is just the fancy word for 'under the tongue', as this is where you should place your desired amount of CBD. Oral CBD is the second fastest way to feel the effects of CBD, and this is why it's so many people's favourite method of consumption!
CBD Mouth Spray
Here at VAAY, we like to think that our CBD Mouth Spray stands out from the crowd (and lends itself to helping promote oral hygiene). We would argue that the pump spray is even more practical to use than your typical CBD pipette. What's more, you can use it discreetly when you're in public, and this will be a huge plus to you anxiety sufferers out there, as you won't draw any attention to yourself. So, what's actually included in our mouth spray? Well, most importantly, it is derived from full-spectrum hemp extract, and this means it contains all of the compounds occuring naturally in the hemp plant. This includes terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids (FYI, for your peace of mind, this product is free of THC.) All of these may positively influence your mood, especially terpenes, as research has indicated that they could potentially help to calm your anxious thoughts. What's more, terpenes could help your breath to smell fresh, and who doesn't want that?
We carefully selected MCT oil from coconut for our mouth spray (and all our other products, in fact.) This decision was made due to the natural benefits that it may add to your life. Curious to know what they are? Let us explain! In the health and beauty world, coconut oil is a popular ingredient, as it can improve both the appearance of your skin and hair. For example, research published in 2011 reported that coconut oil can act as a protectant against damage to your hair. It also stated that (in comparison to sunflower oil and mineral oil) coconut oil was the only product that was able to reduce the protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair. What's more, according to studies, the topical application of coconut oil may help to reduce the signs of itchy skin conditions, such as eczema. Coconut oil may also have antimicrobial effects, thanks to the lauric acid that makes up half of its fatty acids. You see, your body creates monolaurin after digesting lauric acid, and they can work together to kill dangerous pathogens in your body, like fungi and bacteria. There's some research (although it's not yet conclusive) into a technique known as oil pulling. It sounds strange, but it's basically referring to the act of using coconut oil as a mouthwash. Some research suggests that this may help to reduce bad breath and improve your general oral health.
CBD and oral health: the research
So, why should you be adding our CBD mouth spray (and CBD in general) to your oral hygiene routines? Luckily for you, we have done all of the hard research for you, and identified the main reasons below.
You'd rather be anywhere else than at the dentist, am I right? Well, you're not alone! It's estimated that dental anxiety affects roughly 36% of the population, with 12% dealing with extreme dental fear. The thing is, if we don't keep up with our regular dentist trips due to fear and anxiety, this can have a serious negative impact on our dental health. Not what you wanted to hear, right? Sorry, no excuses here – CBD can't and should never be used thinking that it can replace your dental check-ups. Dental fear can occur for a range of reasons; you could've had a painful experience when you were a child, or maybe you just have a nervous disposition – whatever the reason, there's a growing body of studies looking into CBD for anxiety.
One study published in 2019 examined the effect of 25mg of CBD spray-on patients suffering from symptoms of PTSD. They sprayed the CBD into their mouth either once or twice per day. It's important to note that these patients were still undergoing their usual treatment plans (medication and therapy). The results of the study were intriguing, as 91% of patients reported a reduction in their symptoms. A further critical study was also published in 2019, and it examined the effects of CBD on 79 people with anxiety and sleep issues. 47% of participants had anxiety, and 25 were experiencing poor sleep. They were given an oral dose of CBD over the course of one month. The study concluded that the sleep scores improved in the first month of 66.7% of participants (with these fluctuating a bit more over time), and anxiety scores decreased in 79.2% of participants, and this remained steady. Both of these studies are encouraging for the use of CBD for calm thoughts, however, more research needs to be done before we may draw any proper conclusions. What's more, both studies were absent of a placebo group – and this helps to further establish the potential efficiency of CBD.
Do you find yourself grinding your teeth while you sleep? Or hey, maybe you even do it during waking hours? Doctor Burhenne (founder of AsktheDentist.com) has explained teeth grinding. He says: "Dentistry has recently divided teeth grinding, or bruxism, into two separate problems: Daytime grinding and nighttime grinding." Daytime grinding is often linked to anxiety, however, "Nighttime grinding is usually more of a mechanical problem, like a collapsing airway or sleep apnea." There's research into the potential benefits of CBD on sleep, as we've already seen from the study above.
Further research, published in 2014, examined the way that CBD may affect the symptoms of REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD). This causes people to thrash around in their sleep as they act out their nightmares. It reported that CBD has potentially helped to improve the symptoms of RBD and that it was well tolerated. CBD may be an excellent natural sleep supplement, and could possibly help to calm your stress. This, in turn, could contribute to less grinding of the teeth. That being said, you should never self-diagnose your oral problems, and if teeth grinding (particularly at night), you should seek further professional treatment.
Pain and inflammation
There's a variety of reasons you could be experiencing dental pain, one of them being toothache. According to the NHS, a toothache can be caused by broken fillings, tooth decay, dental abscesses, brace problems, and infections. The pain can be worsened by inflammation in your gums, and it can cause your cheeks to swell. Not fun, right? Well, research into CBD's purported anti-inflammatory properties is looking promising. One review published in 2020 examined the current studies looking at CBD and inflammation, and they reported that CBD is potentially a potent anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressive. It's important to note here that the majority of studies examine inflammation related to joint pain, and therefore further, more specific research needs to be conducted into CBD for inflammation relating to toothache.
Another common cause of dental pain is temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Symptoms of TMD can include pain in your ear, temples, and jaw, a headache near your temples, difficulty opening your mouth, jaw lock, and locking and grinding noises when you chew. Your symptoms and pain can worsen when you feel anxious and stressed, and it can also stop you from getting an easy or simple night's sleep. CBD can in no way cure this disease, but it may be able to impact or potentially control the symptoms of inflammation in your joints. One study into the possible effects of CBD for TMD was published in 2019. One group used a placebo, while the opposite group applied a CBD ointment onto their facial joints twice per day for two weeks. The CBD group reported a 70% reduction in their pain symptoms due to TMD, while the placebo group reported just a 10% reduction.
Finally, we have gum disease. This is a prevalent ailment, with the majority of adults in the UK having gum disease to some degree. That's not a fun statistic to think about, right? It's caused by plaque building up on your teeth, and this contains bacteria. It can be mostly harmless, but the bacteria can also cause your gums to become unhealthy. Once the plaque has built up enough, simply brushing your teeth and gums will not help the condition. This can cause pain, inflammation, and swelling in your gums and mouth. They can also bleed, and over time, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. So, what's this got to do with CBD? Well, one study published in 2020 examined the potential effects of CBD on dental plaque that was collected from patients and then sealed into petri dishes. The study concluded that CBD was potentially substantially effective in reducing plaque colonies. We're witnessing an exciting new era of research into CBD and oral health, and more needs to be conducted for more conclusive findings, including appropriate methods and dosing.
Other ways to promote oral health
We're pretty positive that you already do all of the following, but it would be remiss of us not to mention the main ways to keep your pearly whites happy and healthy!
- Keep your dental check-ups: the general rule of thumb is to go every six months, but we're all different, and you may need to go more often for regular treatments or cleanings. Of course, this goes without saying, but if you notice any worrying changes to your mouth or teeth, then make sure that you book a dental appointment. Trust us, we know you'd rather do anything else, but catching a potential problem early on will give you a far more significant chance of treatment being effective.
- Brush, brush, brush your teeth: brushing your teeth twice per day is such an essential step to maintaining your oral health, but it remains one of the most vital. It helps to remove tiny pieces of food that, if left alone, can cause infections. Brushing your teeth well can also help to keep your mouth healthy by ridding it of harmful bacteria. If you find yourself struggling to reach all the way around your mouth with a manual toothbrush, then consider investing in an electric toothbrush. Trust us; it will make all the difference to your brushing routine!
- Try flossing: flossing your teeth isn't for everyone, and we think it's safe to say that many people suffer from flossing nerves the first time they try it out. This is because you're likely to bleed from your gums the first few times that you do it. But, overall, it's definitely worth it! You see, flossing allows you to reach the areas in-between your teeth that brushing won't allow you to get to. To begin, break off roughly 45cm of floss and wind it around one of your fingers (on both hands). Hold the floss tightly with no slack and use a gentle rocking motion between your teeth. You can curve the floss into a C-shape when it reaches your gum until you feel resistance on your tooth. Then hold the floss and scrape the side of your tooth gently. Top tip: keep to a regular flossing pattern (right to left), and it will prevent you from missing any teeth or vital areas. If you still find yourself struggling with flossing, then you could always ask your dentist for some tips and tricks. Or, you could always check out some YouTube videos – these can be super helpful, and you can access them from the comfort of your own home – win-win!
- Watch what you eat/drink: consuming too many sugary drinks or sweet treats can cause significant damage to your oral health. In fact, it can be a real kick in the teeth in terms of diseases, as it's one of the leading causes of tooth decay. You see, the acid that your body produces to help digest the sugar can remain on your teeth and begin to dissolve, causing damage to your teeth. Remember - everything in moderation!
So, there we have it – everything that you need to know about CBD and your oral health. Research into the potential benefits of CBD for your teeth is still in its very early stages, but things always look promising, and we think you'll agree that the future looks bright for CBD and your smile! You should never rely on CBD (or anything else, for that matter) as a single solution to keeping your mouth healthy. As we know, a range of factors go into maintaining your oral health, and nothing should be overlooked. That being said, adding the all-natural CBD to your life can only be a positive – and, you never know, it could contribute to a more naturally fresh, healthy mouth.