CBD for Periodontal Disease in Dogs and Cats

CBD for periodontal disease in dogs and cats - Blog featured image with dog holding toothbrush

Oral care and disease of the mouth are quite possibly the most overlooked components to a pet’s health. In fact, 4 out of 5 pets will have significant oral disease by the age of 3, without most pet parents even knowing about it. That’s why veterinarians (and dentists) recommend practicing oral healthcare measures on a regular basis starting from a young age. Prevention is key! Interestingly, CBD has the potential to be useful in several ways for oral health. What’s more, research suggests CBD may also aid in preventing and/or reducing the symptoms of periodontal disease in dogs and cats. Learn more about the possible benefits of CBD for oral disease in pets. 

Preventing Periodontal Disease in Dogs and Cats

As stated above, oral disease is incredibly common in pets, with an estimated 80% of pets over the age of three being affected. What’s more, plaque buildup and gingivitis (inflammation and pain of the gums) if left untreated, can quickly progress to more complicated situations, such as periodontitis (inflammation of the outer tooth itself), which then results in loosening of teeth and the potential need for tooth extractions and more.

Brushing your pet’s teeth is an excellent way to help keep the mouth as healthy as possible. There are also some beneficial natural dental care products for pets, to support your pet’s oral health. In addition, annual physical exams are very important and should include a review of your pet’s oral health to make sure disease is not progressing without anyone knowing. And finally, certain additional measures may be helpful for prevention or slowing down of already present periodontal disease in dogs and cats. 

symptoms of periodontal disease in dogs

Symptoms of Oral Disease in Dogs and Cats

As a pet parent, it is very important to monitor your pet’s oral health at home as well, starting from a young age. Some helpful signs to watch for that may suggest there is progressive periodontal disease in dogs and cats include:

  • Overly reddened gums, especially at the tooth
  • Bad Breath
  • Receding gum line
  • Change in tooth color
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Difficulty chewing food properly

CBD for Periodontal Disease in Dogs and Cats

When it comes to taking care of your pet’s mouth, there is no replacement for regular checkups with your pet’s veterinarian (i.e. “their doggy or dentist”). However, the goal of this article is to also provide some strong initial evidence supporting the idea that CBD can potentially help reduce symptoms associated with periodontal disease in dogs and cats and may also address some of the root causes of disease as well. 

Specifically, research has shown that a full-spectrum CBD product has antimicrobial, analgesic (pain relieving), and anti-inflammatory properties. Since both oral disease and its symptoms include all three of these elements, CBD could be considered a useful adjunct for oral health.

CBD for Inflammation

Bacteria in the gums are often the cause of swelling, aching, and bleeding, leading to inflammation. Since CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, there are cases where this has been seen to help. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may reduce the damage associated with gingivitis and/or periodontal disease in dogs and cats. 

Inflammation of the oral cavity begins to occur almost always due to one of two reasons. Interestingly, the oral cavity always entertains a delicate balance of bacteria that is supposed to be present at all times. However, when there is too much bacteria, or the body begins to experience an excessive inflammatory response to the normally-present bacteria, this is when disease starts to develop. 

Specifically, if bacteria are allowed the chance to form a biofilm, generally seen as plaque, this is often the initiator for an inflammatory response. If the biofilm grows and the inflammatory response continues without treatment, this then leads to damage and disease (gingivitis, periodontitis, bad breath, etc.) 

Antibiotics are classically prescribed in these situations to kill the oral pathogens, but resistance to antibiotics has become a progressive concern over the last several decades. In addition, oral antibiotics come with a wide range of possible adverse effects on the rest of the body. This is where CBD may be able to play an integral role for periodontal disease in dogs and cats. 

The success of CBD as a potential anti-inflammatory agent is steadily becoming more validated as public awareness increases and research is made available. Since the endocannabinoid system’s role is to restore the body to balance, it should come as no surprise that CBD would be useful for inflammatory conditions, including periodontal disease in dogs and cats.

According to a study conducted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center, CBD can assist in reducing chronic inflammation associated with periodontal disease in dogs and cats. This is due to CBD’s ability to communicate with and modulate the immune system. Specifically, CBD enhances communication within the immune system and regulates immune cells that are responsible for the inflammatory cascade.

What’s more, a full-spectrum CBD product is known to have a multitude of additional compounds that possess antimicrobial properties, such as other minor cannabinoids and terpenes. Thus, a full-spectrum CBD has the potential to address the bacterial overgrowth itself in addition to the secondary inflammatory process.

Related: CBD for Inflammation in Pets

CBD for Pain Relief

Anyone who has ever had a tooth ache knows quite well that tooth and gum disease is painful! Just because our pets cannot tell us this personally, does not mean they are not dealing with oral pain if oral disease is present. Both excessive inflammation, as well as eventual breakdown of the tissues in the mouth, result in aggravation of the nerves found throughout the oral cavity, making every day life just as uncomfortable for pets dealing with oral disease.

Furthermore, the gingival pockets housing excessive bacteria cause additional pain as they release enzymes in addition to several degradative molecules. NSAIDs and several other pharmaceuticals may be recommended to control oral pain, but as with antibiotics, can result in harmful side effects when taken long-term. Safer, more therapeutic, natural alternatives are being recommended when able. 

Again, this is where CBD may play a useful role. With a quality product, CBD has the potential ability to effectively address the pain associated with periodontal disease in dogs and cats, just as it would for any other painful condition, as research has shown time and time again. 

A study published in Current Neuropharmacology, found that CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes. Another study from Baylor College of Medicine found that daily CBD significantly decreased pain in animals with osteoarthritis. 

Related: Natural Pain Relief for Dogs and Cats

Administering CBD for Periodontal Disease in Dogs and Cats

EASE: CBD Oil for Dogs Bottle - Ingredients Our EASE: Full Spectrum Hemp CBD oil for dogs and CBD oil for cats is our recommended CBD for periodontal disease in dogs and cats, including gum disease, gingivitis, and nearly all other inflammatory-based conditions. Formulated with Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, as well as turmeric and frankincense, this formula is intended to target inflammation, restore balance to your pet’s immune system and reduce pain at the source. 

In almost all cases, it is recommended that CBD be applied directly to the gums in order to promote direct absorption into the bloodstream. Well, in the case of periodontal disease in dogs and cats, the recommendation is quite the same, with some additional suggestions. 

If possible, try to apply it to several areas of the mouth, to make contact with as much gum tissue as possible. This will help to maximize local effects (antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory) as well as systemic benefits. 

You may also try adding CBD to your pet’s toothpaste if they tolerate that method better, and gently brush their teeth same as you would normally.

Note: Do not use human toothpaste for your pet. Only use toothpaste specifically designed for pets. Human toothpaste is not formulated to be safe for pets. Also, always use a toothbrush specifically designed for your pet’s mouth for best results. 

Related: CBD Dosage for Dogs

Final Thoughts

In total, CBD may prove incredibly worthwhile for periodontal disease in dogs and cats, as well as supporting pet oral health as an adjunct to regular care provided by their veterinarian

You may also want to consult with a holistic veterinarian regarding the use of CBD for your pet’s dental disease if your family veterinarian is not well-versed in alternative methods. To find a holistic or integrative veterinarian in your area, you can visit the AHVMA Vet Finder