New Study Investigates Effective Dental Treatments

  • Updated November 23, 2023

  • Published November 23, 2023

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New Study Investigates Effective Dental Treatments

Researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Texas studied CBD as an alternative to opioids for patients experiencing extreme tooth soreness. Many people cannot take NSAIDs or acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen, or the over-the-counter alternatives do not ease dental discomfort enough. This leaves them with prescribed opioids as the only option. This current study on CBD and dental soreness found that a single dose of CBD can be as effective as current dental treatments.

The study Cannabidiol as an Alternative Analgesic for Acute Dental Pain was published in the Journal of Dental Research. The randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial strived to assess the effectiveness and safety of CBD as an analgesic for patients experiencing a dental emergency. The study involved 61 participants experiencing moderate to severe toothache. They were divided into three groups.

One group took a single dose of 10 mg of CBD. Another group took a single dose of 20 mg of CBD. The third group took a placebo. The participants were monitored for three hours after taking the oral solutions. The measures for effectiveness were dental soreness improvement, how quickly relief occurred, the maximum relief experienced, changes in bite force, and mood changes.

Both groups taking CBD experienced a significant reduction in dental discomfort. The median time for maximum relief was 180 minutes. The group taking 20 mg experienced the fastest onset of relief at 15 minutes. The 10 mg CBD group reported an onset of relief in 30 minutes. Some side effects included sedation, diarrhea and abdominal pain for some people taking CBD. However, the CBD oral solution was the Food and Drug Administration-approved drug Epidiolex, used to treat epilepsy. This solution was chosen because it is pure CBD.

Given the positive results, a larger phase three trial is planned. It will pursue getting FDA approval for Epidiolex or other pure CBD solutions for managing dental distress. Since dental discomfort is usually treated first with medications, lead study author Vanessa Chrepa wrote, “Dental patients who cannot receive NSAIDs or acetaminophen due to underlying medical conditions or allergies have no alternatives to avoid opioid prescriptions…” She also wrote,

“Our results indicate that a single dose of CBD is as potent as current analgesic regimens…”

This important project gives hope to people who experience an emergency dental issue or chronic dental soreness. Opioids are addictive, and for some, addictive after one dose. If CBD can provide relief from dental soreness and help people during a dental emergency, then it would be a natural replacement for opioid drugs in some situations.


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