According to Purdue University, 80% of dogs over the age of three have some kind of gum disease. While gingivitis is the most common form of periodontal disease in adult dogs, it can lead to more severe conditions if left untreated. To reduce your dog’s risk of developing dental disease, holistic experts are recommending simple practices and the implementation of CBD in your dog’s routine.
Causes of dental disease in dogs
Before jumping right in, you should first understand what contributes to dental disease; commonly known as periodontal disease in the vet world.
Dental disease can be caused by various factors, including:
- Bacteria in the mouth. Your dog's teeth and gums may be infected with bacteria that cause plaque build up and eventually lead to gum disease.
- Food particles that get stuck in the mouth. If your dog's teeth are not brushed, food particles will remain on them and harden into tartar over time. This can irritate the gums if left untreated and cause infection or other complications.
- Plaque buildup on teeth and gums. When bacteria mixes with saliva it creates plaque which then sticks to both your dog's teeth and gums, causing inflammation of these tissues as well as pain when eating anything crunchy like carrots or apples (which tend to fall apart into small pieces). Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria, food debris and saliva that constantly forms on your pet’s teeth. Bacteria in the plaque produce toxins that irritate gums and cause them to pull away from the teeth. As this happens, pockets form between the gum and tooth surface. These pockets can become infected by bacteria, leading to periodontal disease.
Signs of dog dental disease
Understanding the signs of dental disease is important in addressing it. If you have a dog who is already experiencing these symptoms, CBD can still help.
- Bad breath
- Irritated, red gums
- Receding gum line
- Tooth color changes
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty chewing food or treats
Diagnosing the grades of dental disease in dogs
Periodontal disease is a type of bacterial infection that affects the gums, teeth and related structures in dogs. This gum disease can lead to tooth loss and is responsible for bad breath in pets.
The first step in treating periodontal disease is to have it diagnosed by a veterinarian. This can be done by gently probing your dog's gums with a finger or cotton swab dipped in alcohol, which will cause pus from any infected areas to come out onto the swab if there are any active infections present. The next step is determining what stage the infection has reached—early on, you may be able to treat the condition yourself at home; later on, serious problems may require surgery or heavy medications from your vet.
The best CBD for dogs can help
CBD oil for dogs can help with dental health in several ways. The first is by reducing inflammation, which is a common contributor to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to serving as an anti-inflammatory, CBD has antimicrobial and analgesic (pain relieving) properties.
Bad bacteria buildup, or an imbalance of good and bad bacteria rather, are often the cause of swelling, bleeding, and inflammation in the gums. Since CBD serves as an anti-inflammatory compound, not only may it help reduce the pain but also reduce the damage associated with periodontal disease.
In fact, it's so effective, studies have been conducted to review its influence on dogs and cats with periodontal disease. In the study, researchers found the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD to be relieving to dogs with dental disease.
A full-spectrum CBD product (containing a minute amount of THC) is known to contain a variety of other compounds with antibacterial effects, such as various minor cannabinoids and terpenes. A full spectrum CBD has the opportunity to mitigate both the bacterial overgrowth itself as well as any secondary inflammatory process that may occur as a result of the bacterial overgrowth in the mouth.
Some veterinarians may recommend antibiotics, however antibiotic resistance is becoming a large concern in both the human and pet world. Antibiotics can also cause gut imbalance and other adverse effects. CBD offers a natural alternative for dog gum disease treatment.
If you’re worried about the THC, there are other options
If you’re concerned about products containing THC, there are also broad-spectrum products available that can help your dog with pain and inflammation. Broad-spectrum products are those which do not contain any THC. Canine Cush, for example, is a product that offers a broad-spectrum approach to inflammation and pain in dogs.
Although the product has primarily been developed for dogs suffering from joint and mobility problems, the CBD within the product may also help dogs suffering from other ailments including periodontal disease. This product can also be helpful for dogs who prefer a treat rather than an oil.
Don’t forget to brush your dog’s teeth
Dental disease is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth, which leads to tartar that has been hardening over time. This is why it's so important to brush your dog's teeth regularly with a dog toothbrush and pet toothpaste. Don’t use regular toothpaste like you would use on yourself; it’s important you use a special toothbrush along with dog-friendly toothpaste. These can be purchased at nearly any pet store and are relatively inexpensive.
If you don't want to do this yourself, ask your vet if they offer an affordable dental cleaning service at their office that uses high-end tools for cleaning your pet's teeth safely at home (they probably offer this). You should also visit with your vet every year during wellness visits so they can examine any abnormalities like gingivitis or periodontal disease early on before they become more severe problems later down the road.
Choose a high-quality CBD oil
CBD oil is a great way to support your dog's dental health. It can help prevent the build-up of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, reduce inflammation, and even prevent cavities. CBD oil also has a calming effect when it comes to stress and anxiety—both important considerations for dogs with dental issues.
When you give your dog CBD oil, make sure that you're using a high-quality product that contains all of the right ingredients. You want something made from organic hemp plants without any additives or preservatives.