Although smoking marijuana carries significant risks to medical and dental health, its active ingredient has long been used medicinally in some cultures. The Cannabis sativa plant is best known for its leaves that get dried and smoked for their mind-altering effect. However, this plant has been used for centuries to treat various ailments in Asia, Africa, and India. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), evidence for the medicinal use of Cannabis is in its “infancy” in western cultures. There is hope that pharmaceutically manufactured, and FDA-approved medications can become useful agents in promoting oral health. Continue reading to learn more about four possible dental benefits of marijuana for teeth.
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Top 4 Benefits of Marijuana for Teeth
According to the World Health Organization, oral diseases, including oral pain, affect almost half of the world’s population. A further demonstration of toothache as a public health problem is the high number of people in America who seek relief from toothache at physicians and hospital emergency departments.
Some studies indicate that Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG), chemicals found in Cannabis sativa, have analgesic properties that may help relieve toothaches and pain after tooth extractions.
2. Tooth Decay
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that dental cavities are “one of the greatest unmet health treatment needs.” Their statistics reveal that children and adults are highly susceptible to tooth decay despite measures, such as water fluoridation and oral health education.
Researchers have recently found that several chemicals derived from Cannabis sativa may be helpful in treating and preventing cavities due to their antibacterial properties. Inhibiting dental plaque bacteria without fluoride or alcohol-based products, such as mouthwashes, is seen as an advantage by some to Cannabis use.
3. Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is common and can lead to avoiding routine dental care. Unfortunately, this can make matters worse by creating the need for more extensive dental treatment. A small cavity that is left untreated can lead to damage that requires a root canal treatment and crown that may take several hours to treat.
Recent investigations into the use of cannabidiol for relieving dental anxiety have found it may be useful because of its anti-anxiety, anti-panic, and anti-compulsive properties. One report states that most people can help relieve dental anxiety by taking 15-30 milligrams sublingually before their dental appointment.
4. Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) can affect the gums, tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth—and cause frustration for the dentist. The frustration is due to the difficulty in diagnosing a condition that produces a scalding, burning, or tingling feeling that lasts days, months, or longer. Besides these symptoms, altered taste and dry mouth can result from BMS. Several recent studies have indicated some benefits of cannabinoids to relieve BMS symptoms.
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