Human studies indicate that CBD can have applications for dental health. The results can be extrapolated to our dogs too.
Recently, a dog parent asked me if there was any value in using CBD in canines with dental disease. I took a look at what the published evidence says about CBD and dental health, and was surprised by what I found. In previous articles, I’ve described CBD as a “Swiss Army Knife” herbal supplement with a nearly global effect on a dog’s many different organ systems. In humans — and by extension, dogs — this has also proven true in the case of dental health.
WHAT HUMAN STUDIES SAY
I found a single published study regarding CBD and dental health in humans, and two articles in human dental magazines suggesting the use of CBD for a variety of dental problems. The only published peer-reviewed study I came across tested a variety of cannabinoids, including CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBC and CBN, for their antimicrobial activity against actual specimens of dental plaque sampled from 60 humans, aged 18 to 45.*
For the latter study, the cannabinoids’ ability to counter the growth of plaque samples grown on agar in petri dishes was compared to three commercial dentifrices: Oral BTM, ColgateTM and Cannabite FTM (a toothpaste formulation of pomegranate and algae). The researchers found that the cannabinoids were more effective at reducing the bacterial colony count as compared to the commercially-available oral care products.
Although all the studies and articles I found were about humans, the information applies equally well to our dogs, suggesting that CBD has a variety of applications for dental health, including those stressful visits to the veterinarian.
CBD FOR ANXIETY AND PAIN
CBD’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety is well known in all species. Taking CBD before a visit to the dentist can help lower stress in human patients, while administering it to your dog prior to a vet visit may help keep him calm and collected as well. Moderate dental pain, from root abscesses to periodontal disease, can also be addressed with CBD, given its published ability to reduce pain and inflammation.
Periodontal disease is a combination of infection and inflammation of the deeper parts of the gum where the tooth is attached. With its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD could be very helpful in managing this disease in dogs.
WHAT’S THE DOSAGE?
If you are interested in trying CBD for your dog’s dental disease, either on its own or combined with other cannabinoids as in a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum product, consult with your veterinarian first. Start with a dosage based on your dog’s weight and the product’s concentration. I recommend a low starting dose of 0.25 mg of CBD for each pound of your dog’s body weight. Give the CBD twice daily on a small amount of food, just before meals, and allow about three months for it to work its magic.
* Stahl V, Vasudevan K. Comparison of Efficacy of Cannabinoids versus Commercial Oral Care Products in Reducing Bacterial Content from Dental Plaque: A Preliminary Observation. Cureus 12(1) 2020: e6809. DOI 10.7759/cureus.6809