Cannabidiol or CBD, a non-psychoactive component present in Cannabis Sativa plant, is a significant research subject in the recent decade. Though scientists have not yet been successful in deciphering the full potential of CBD, some pretty astonishing facts have been revealed about it.
Scientists found that CBD acts as an analgesic, has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and is also neuroprotective. These properties of CBD can relieve anxiety and stress, manage chronic pain, alleviate inflammation and even improve neurological disorders like epilepsy. Further research also suggested that the properties of CBD may have an impact on one’s dental health.
As vaping is the most rapid way to deliver cannabidiol to the bloodstream, it made people believe that inhaling CBD can rapidly impart its benefits on their teeth and other oral structures. This article will look into the available evidence and help to understand how Cannabidiol vapes impact dental health.
Involvement of Endocannabinoid System in Dental Health
If we are talking about the effects of cannabinoids on human health, knowing the concept of Endocannabinoids is indispensable. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a complex biological system present in our body that influences various bodily functions. It comprises endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by our body) and endocannabinoid receptors (primarily CB1 and CB2).
The endocannabinoids bind with these receptors and produce signals to command different organs to carry out their specific functions. Experts believe that when phytocannabinoids (plant-derived CBD) enter the bloodstream, they bind with the receptors and manipulate the ECS.
These receptors are present throughout our body. They are found in our cardiovascular system, central and peripheral nervous system, immune system, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive tract, and sperm. According to ongoing research, endocannabinoid receptors are also observed in gingival crevicular fluid (fluid present between gums and teeth).
This discovery led to the assumption that the ECS may have a role in maintaining our dental health. Depending on this speculation, experts deduced that CBD vaping could help in influencing the ECS and thereby utilize its therapeutic benefits on our dental health. It may also aid in periodontal healing.
Does CBD Vaping Help in Improving Dental Health?
The effect of cannabidiol is not fully understood till now. Nonetheless, a few research reviews and clinical studies on animal and human subjects suggested that CBD may positively impact our dental health. Let’s look into the accumulated evidence supporting this theory.
- Relieves Tooth Pain
According to a report, almost 90% of the global population have experienced a toothache at least once in their lifetime. Toothache can occur due to multiple factors, but the most prevalent among them is inflammation of the underlying tooth structures.
On vaping CBD, it rapidly gets absorbed in the tissues of the surrounding structures of our teeth. Its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties help in alleviating the inflammation and thereby reducing toothache.
- May Decreases Risk of Tooth Decay
When food gets accumulated in our teeth, bacteria like Streptococcus mutans inhabit the tooth structures and break down the lodged food particles. During this process, the bacteria release certain acids which demineralize the tooth structures like enamel and dentin. This demineralization causes cavities in the tooth, known as caries or tooth decay.
Cannabidiol is known to be effective against various harmful bacteria, including caries-causing bacteria like Streptococcus mutans. When using CBD vape pens, the vapor containing cannabidiol spreads over our oral structures and inhibits the proliferation of bacterial colonies. It reduces the risk of caries formation in the long run.
- May Reduce Risk of Gum Diseases
The term “Gum disease” denotes two different oral ailments: gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation of the tissues around the tooth). These conditions generally arise due to the accumulation of food in our mouth due to improper oral hygiene and the subsequent bacterial colonization.
Research suggests that CBD has bacteriostatic (inhibits bacterial growth) and bactericidal (kills bacteria) properties. These properties of CBD reduce the risk of developing gum diseases by eliminating the root cause of such infections. CBD also has anti-inflammatory activity that alleviates any existing inflammation of the periodontal and gingival tissues.
- Reduces Incidence of Tooth Loss
Apart from old age, tooth loss also occurs due to untreated gingival and periodontal diseases. Even penetration of bacteria into deeper tooth structures can weaken the bone and ligaments holding the tooth and lead to tooth loss. As CBD helps to reduce bacterial growth and relieve periodontal inflammation, the chance of premature teeth loss is also reduced.
A 2009 animal study also suggested that cannabidiol can reduce bone resorption rate. Thereby, experts concluded that this property of CBD could also prevent tooth loss due to the resorption of alveolar bone (bone surrounding the tooth).
- Minimizes Plaque Formation on Teeth
Dental plaque is a whitish layer that forms on our teeth after eating food. It acts as a reservoir of different harmful bacteria and other microbes. If not removed, this plaque can lead to the development of cavities. A 2020 review mentions that the antibacterial properties of cannabidiol reduce bacterial colonization on the tooth structures and diminish the bacterial content in the plaque.
Can CBD Vape Pens Damage Your Teeth?
Though the available data informs us that CBD can be good for our teeth and overall dental health, some evidence also suggests that it might impact our dental health negatively.
A study mentioned that vaping CBD could activate the endocannabinoid receptors to reduce salivary secretions leading to dry mouth. A humectant present in CBD vape juices, propylene glycol, can absorb all oral moisture, resulting in a dry mouth. Decreased moistures in our mouth can aggravate the development of bacterial colonies and increase the risk of infection. However, not much data is available to validate this theory.
To Sum It Up:
The data collected from several reviews and clinical studies suggest that CBD vaping could benefit our teeth. But there are also some speculations regarding some adverse effects such as xerostomia or dry mouth. Also, continued unregulated CBD vaping may lead to reduced appetite, diarrhea, drowsiness, and fatigue. Thus, further studies are necessary to comprehend the absolute effect of CBD on our dental health.