We've all been there – dreading our six-monthly dentist check-up. As much as the majority of us would rather be anywhere else, it can't be denied that managing our dental hygiene is of the utmost importance. This is not merely for health reasons, but vanity too – we all crave white and healthy teeth accompanied by lovely, fresh breath, right? There are countless natural remedies that have been used for centuries to keep teeth healthy and breath fresh (think peppermint, fennel, and anise seeds), but what about CBD oil? Could it have a positive impact on our oral health? Is it even worth adding to your routine? Well, make sure you stay tuned for the answers to all of these intriguing questions, and plenty more useful information for you to sink your teeth into.
Basic steps to dental hygiene
There's no way that CBD can do all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to your dental hygiene, nor should it be regarded as any kind of miracle treatment or solution – but it can be considered a good supplementary addition to your dental wellness routine. We will get into the ins and outs of this soon, but first: let's cover five dental hygiene basics that you should already be familiar with.
Brush your teeth twice per day:
'Yes, duh' we know you're thinking – but brushing your teeth is undoubtedly worth mentioning here! This practice helps to keep your teeth and whole mouth healthy by removing and preventing a build-up of harmful plaque and bacteria. There is a correct way of brushing your teeth though, and some people prefer to opt for an electric toothbrush in order to apply the right amount of pressure and to help target those hard-to-reach areas. If you choose to manually brush your teeth, then use small circular motions, not forgetting to reach all corners of the mouth.
Top tip: put on your favourite song that lasts just over two minutes, as this is the optimal amount of brushing time, then you'll know when to stop- and you have a little morning/evening dance! You should also avoid toothbrushes with stiff bristles, as these can cause gum damage and bleeding, rather than optimal oral health. Instead, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush, and remember to change it every three months, or when your brush looks frayed around the edges.
Visit the dentist:
People typically visit the dentist every six months, although it all depends on your unique health needs. Every six months may sound like a lot, and it does come around quickly; however, it's a vital part of your health routine. As you will already know, your dentist will also check for gum diseases, damage, cavities, and mouth cancer. Remember, if you become worried about any changes to your mouth/teeth, always make an appointment with your dentist.
Floss, floss, floss:
Flossing is an often-overlooked part of oral health. We've all been guilty of it – our dentist tells us to start flossing, and then it just slips our mind! Use a gentle rocking motion while you floss, as it's vital that you don't tug at your teeth and gums, as this can lead to more damage than health. Flossing can also help to freshen your breath, remove bits of food that you can't reach simply by brushing, and remove plaque.
Avoiding smoking not only helps to maintain your oral health, but also your general health. It's true! Not only can smoking negatively impact the visual appearance of your teeth (they can turn a yellowish/brown colour and make your breath smell unpleasant) but also it also heightens your risk of gum disease. This is due to the way that smoking negatively impacts the body's immune system, weakening the way it fights off infections. What's more, you will be at twice the risk of developing gum disease in comparison to a non-smoker, not to mention that the treatments for the oral disease might not work as effectively for people who smoke. So, for the sake of your health, step away from the nicotine!
Watch the sugar:
As the NHS notes, consuming too much sugar (in food and drinks) is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. This is because acid within the body is produced to help you and your mouth to digest the sugar. This acid then dissolves upon the tooth's surface, marking the first stage of tooth decay. Some researchers also suggest avoiding starchy foods (pasta, bread, crackers) and instead opting for a protein and vegetable-rich diet, alongside dairy products.
What is CBD?
Before we can get into any potential benefits that CBD may have upon oral health, we first need to answer the question 'what is CBD oil'? Well, CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant (most commonly cannabis Sativa), and is made by extracting it, and then diluting it with a carrier oil, such as coconut, avocado, or hemp seed oil. There are many other compounds found in the cannabis plant; there are actually over 100 in total – and those are just the ones that have been discovered! You may have heard of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as this is the compound in the plant that's responsible for the psychotropic effects you feel if you ingest some types of cannabis. There's no need to panic though, all of our products here at VAAY are virtually free of THC (less than 0.2%). We want you to be confident when using our CBD (in all its many forms) and assured that it is safe, organic, and fun to use!
Can CBD help your dental hygiene?
Now for the good stuff, let's get into how adding CBD oil to your routine might be able to help your oral health.
About dentist anxiety
Fear and anxiety surrounding your average trip to the dentist are not uncommon, and no, it's not just something that children have to deal with. There's plenty of adults who would rather wrestle an anaconda than have their mouth prodded by a virtual stranger, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about if booking your next dentist appointment fills you with dread, or if your palms begin to sweat at the mere thought of having a dental procedure.
So, what are the symptoms of anxiety? Well, it's a pretty complex illness, as some of the physical symptoms can actually be mistaken for many other conditions. Some of these physical symptoms can include shortness of breath, pounding heartbeat, uncontrollable sweating, insomnia, and dizziness. There are also a range of psychological symptoms as well, and these can include feeling irritable, a looming sense of dread, trouble concentrating, and feeling on edge. As you can imagine (or as you already know) this is no fun whatsoever! Sure, there are medical treatments for anxiety, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). However, these can come with their own side effects, along with being pricey or having a long waiting list.
The good news is that CBD oil may be most useful when incorporated into a larger routine designed to put you at ease and manage your stress, such as slipping a few drops of CBD into your pre-appointment tea, or rewarding yourself after the appointment by soaking in a CBD-infused bath. There are a ton of studies and research papers relevant to the topic of CBD for stress, so let's take a look at a few of them.
One study that was published in 2011 examined the effects of CBD on a group of individuals dealing with generalised social anxiety disorder (SAD), as people were administered an oral dose of CBD oil (400mg) or a placebo. The results seem clear: the CBD group experienced a possible reduction in their anxiety symptoms. What's more, a 2020 review examined eight 'CBD oil for anxiety’-related studies. They concluded that there was possible evidence of CBD being a useful and potentially therapeutic supplement for helping to manage a range of anxiety-related conditions, from SAD to post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD). However, they did note that further research is necessary for more conclusive findings (especially when it comes to dosage), but the future looks bright for CBD and anxiety! So, the next time you feel a wave of dental panic washing over you, consider opting for all-natural CBD oil. After all, if potentially curbing your anxiety helps you to get yourself to the dentist, then you're already winning, as a regular check-up is essential for your pearly whites.
CBD oil and dental pain
Okay, just to be very clear here – if you notice any change or pain in your teeth, mouth, or gums then it's time to book a dentist appointment, not reach for the CBD oil. Now, you certainly can add CBD to your wellness routine if you're dealing with tooth sensitivity, have an aching jaw, or you're dealing with pain after a procedure. Or maybe you simply flossed too hard! Whatever the case, you know your own body, and many of us out there are dealing with chronic teeth sensitivity and pain. This is where CBD can possibly come in as a supplement to mainstream medical care.
Some people prefer to bypass using pain medication on a regular basis completely. This could be for a range of reasons, but the most common include concerns about an addiction, or worry of permanent damage being done to the body. For example, prolonged and regular over-use of analgesics (commonly known as ibuprofen) has the potential to cause chronic kidney disease.
Enter CBD! CBD may possibly help people to manage their pain due to the potential it has when it comes to reducing symptoms of inflammation. Plenty of research has indicated that CBD oil may hold great potential when used as a supplement alongside traditional treatments for those people suffering from persistent tooth pain or other dental conditions. For example, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a condition that affects your joints connecting the jaw and skull. Common symptoms include a headache (mainly around the temples), difficulty completely opening your mouth, jaw lock, and pain surrounding the ears, temples, and jaw. This pain can be exacerbated if you feel stressed or anxious, and it can even prevent you from getting a peaceful night's sleep. The good news is that CBD oil has been seen to potentially help manage and reduce the symptoms of TMJ. So, if you would prefer to make use of a natural pain reliever for your dental pain, why don't you try CBD?
May help to prevent tooth decay
So, what's tooth decay? Well, the NHS explains that it's damage to your tooth that's been caused by plaque changing sugar into acid. A build-up of plaque can lead to gum disease and holes in your teeth. Abscesses can even develop- these are collections of pus that can reside in the teeth or gums (sorry if we just put you off your dinner!)
Tooth decay doesn't necessarily cause any pain, but the holes in your teeth can cause toothache, sensitivity, bad breath, an odd taste in your mouth, as well as black or brown spots surfacing on your teeth. All of this gross stuff would be good to prevent, right? As we already know, CBD alone won't help prevent this, but there is evidence that it could potentially have a helping hand in its prevention. You see, CBD has the purported ability to strengthen bone structure, as well as possibly impact the strength of bone tissue. This, combined with its possible anti-inflammatory properties, may help to maintain the health of your gums by impacting tooth decay, as well as helping to manage symptoms of pain and possibly even recovery, if dental treatment is needed. Adding CBD oil to your dental hygiene routine just might be a good idea, as, with regular use alongside other things (brushing, flossing, etc), it may help you to maintain your gum health.
CBD oil and sleep
'What's sleep got to do with the health of my teeth?' we hear you ask, but you'd be surprised at just how vital sleep is for your dental hygiene. It's all well and good thinking that you get eight hours per night, but it actually all comes down to your sleeping ability (yes that's a thing). Sleeping ability is basically referring to how well you sleep, particularly when it comes to your breathing during the night. Breathing interruptions can occur for many reasons, and be damaging to your health.
If you have a bad sleeping ability, this can lead to your body ageing at a quicker pace, open you up to more diseases (including orally), and a lowered immune system. When it comes to your dental health, sleeping with your mouth open can open you up (pun intended) to a whole host of issues. It can lead to interrupted breathing, sleep apnoea, and cavities. As we already mentioned, it can also age the health and appearance of your teeth as they can begin to appear yellowed and discoloured. Plenty of studies have demonstrated that CBD oil has the potential to help to improve your quality of sleep, as well as help people who have anxiety-related insomnia to get some much-needed shut-eye. Why not try adding CBD oil to your nighttime routine? It could help you to sleep more peacefully, as well as help prevent gum and teeth issues, in addition to preventing your teeth from looking older than they actually are!
How does good dental hygiene make you feel?
Short answer: amazing! Having and practising good dental hygiene can have a hugely positive impact upon your mental health, improving both your self-confidence and self-esteem. This can have an effect on all aspects of your life, including your personal relationships, work-life, and social life. A fascinating study published in 2016 entitled 'No Mental Health without Oral Health' is the prime example of why oral health is absolutely vital to feeling (and looking) good! You see, if left untreated or ignored, dental issues can cause (or exacerbate) a whole host of disorders. Some common conditions include eating disorders, mental illness, and affective (mood) conditions that are associated with the following dental issues: caries, erosion, and gum disease. Of course, all of this can be prevented with good dental hygiene practices, and possibly alongside CBD oil! So, the next time you consider skipping that dentist appointment or deciding not to floss – think about your overall well being. Keep reading to discover how you can add CBD oil to your lifestyle.
Methods of CBD consumption
When it comes down to the many ways that you can consume CBD oil, there's a tsunami of options. And this is how it can sometimes feel – like a massive wave hitting you in the face as you scramble around trying to find your bearings. It has people searching the internet in droves for 'how to take CBD oil'. Don't panic – at VAAY, we're nothing if not helpful! Below, we have outlined the main ways that you can add CBD to your life, as well as some of the best options open to you for your dental hygiene.
Oral and sublingual (under the tongue) CBD application remains one of the most popular methods of administration. This is due to their convenience and ease of use. There's a range of oral applications out there, such as CBD oil, mouth spray, lozenges, toothpaste, and more. It's a fast-acting form of CBD oil, as it is absorbed through the sublingual mucous membrane, located underneath your tongue. This tissue has a lot of capillaries, which helps the CBD oil to be absorbed directly (and quickly) into the bloodstream. If you're seeking a CBD-infused mouth spray, then let us introduce you to:
VAAY CBD Mouth Spray
Our CBD Mouth Spray is a wonderful fast-acting (and discreet) CBD option. Simply spray under your tongue twice per day (let it sit there for 20 seconds), and you're good to go! As we already know, there's plenty of carrier oils out there, but we here at VAAY prefer to use coconut-based MCT oil, due to its many potential health benefits. For example, it's a popular wellness tool in fitness, as it's thought to be a natural fat-burner. It has been reported that the MCTs in the oil increase the amount of calories that your body can burn when compared to other fatty acids. This is great for people struggling with their weight and who are wanting to lose some for the sake of their health.
What's more, research has shown that it may have possible antimicrobial effects, and a technique called oil pulling, which can potentially help to manage your oral health. All of these purported benefits are in addition to what CBD oil may be able to bring to the table! Due to our mouth spray being a full-spectrum hemp extract, it contains all of the naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids you could ever ask for. This means that it may provide you with feelings of natural wellness and dental hygiene, plus the terpenes (aromatic compounds located in plants) can leave a fresh taste in your mouth and make your breath smell naturally divine, fresh, and most importantly, clean!
The great thing about our mouth spray is how quickly you can feel the possible effects. This means that you could possibly benefit from the potential calming effects of CBD oil before your dentist appointment quickly, as well as potentially fast relief from symptoms of pain following a dental procedure. With regular use (and alongside other dental hygiene practices), the CBD-infused mouth spray could help to supplement gum disease, and promote the health of your teeth and gums through its purported anti-inflammatory properties. Adding this CBD mouth spray to your lifestyle is so simple and convenient that you'll wonder why you never tried it before!
Edible CBD is exactly what you'd expect it to be – edible CBD! This can come in many forms, think cookies, dried fruits, coffees, gummies, smoothies, alcohol, brownies, protein bars – there's a ton of choices open to you. Basically, if you can eat or drink it, you can add CBD to it. Just pick what would best suit your lifestyle, for example: you could choose an easy on-the-go CBD infused snack to eat during your commute to work. This is one of the best things about CBD edibles: they are super discreet and easy to consume while you are out and about. One downside for some is the length of time it takes to feel the potential effects, as the CBD needs to be digested before it reaches your bloodstream. It typically takes between 30 and 90 minutes, but this will also depend on dosage and your individual body and metabolism.
The popularity of topical CBD oil is on the rise, as you can now purchase CBD infused skincare products like creams, moisturisers, balms, and so much more! Generally, you apply topical CBD directly to your skin, and the CBD is then absorbed (but doesn't reach your bloodstream). Similarly to CBD edibles, it is one of the more slower acting ways of consuming CBD, but the possible effects can last for hours. If it's a potentially relaxing CBD bath bomb experience you're seeking, then look no further than the VAAY CBD Lavender Bath Bomb! It's a luxurious form of topical CBD, as you simply run yourself a warm bath before placing the bath bomb into the water. Once it has stopped fizzing, you will notice the shea butter core appear – this is infused with nourishing oils and 100mg of CBD. Rub this core over your body, sit back, and breathe in the relaxing lavender scent as the CBD sinks into your skin. This is the perfect after-care for a stressful dentist trip, as it may help to calm your anxious feelings after your appointment, as well as potentially helping to promote your sleep wellbeing.
Vaping CBD is a popular method of consumption, as people enjoy the potentially fast-acting nature of it. You see, compounds that are inhaled through your lungs allow you to feel the possible effects of CBD almost instantly. Although it will also depend on the dosage, as well as your height and weight, so remember that things are not always so clear-cut in the world of CBD. For people who already vape, incorporating vaping CBD into your routine will be a seamless transition. However, others prefer to avoid any kind of smoking. This type of CBD can be an excellent option for those of you seeking fast relief from dental discomfort. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, then check out our vape pens at our VAAY online shop.
And there you have it- everything that you need to know about CBD oil and dental hygiene! CBD oil isn't a magic potion to fix and prevent all of your dental issues. But, with that being said, it might just make a fantastic addition to your lifestyle, alongside other healthy life choices. So, what are you waiting for? Choose your favourite method of consumption, and begin your CBD dental journey today!