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Evaluation of a topical gel containing a novel combination of essential oils and antioxidants for reducing oral malodor in dogs

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  • 1 Department of Periodontics, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610
  • | 2 The Pet Dentist at Wesley Chapel, 3908 Flatiron Loop, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544.
  • | 3 The Pet Dentist at Wesley Chapel, 3908 Flatiron Loop, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544.
  • | 4 The Pet Dentist at Wesley Chapel, 3908 Flatiron Loop, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544.
  • | 5 Indian Springs Animal Clinic, 1583 Cahaba Valley Rd, Pelham, AL 35124.
  • | 6 Department of Restorative Sciences, Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas A&M University, Dallas, TX 75246.


Objective—To evaluate the effectiveness of a topically applied gel containing essential oils (menthol and thymol) and polyphenolic antioxidants (phloretin and ferulic acid) for reducing halitosis in dogs.

Animals—20 dogs.

Procedures—A blinded crossover clinical trial was conducted. Dogs received a dental cleaning and examination (periodontal examination including periodontal probing and assessments of plaque, calculus, and gingivitis). Owners then applied a gel (active or placebo) to oral soft tissues twice daily for a 4-week period. Teeth of the dogs were cleaned again, and owners applied the other gel for a 4-week period. Clinicians scored halitosis immediately after the initial cleaning and at 4 and 8 weeks, and owners scored halitosis weekly.

Results—Halitosis assessment by clinicians revealed that both groups had improvement in halitosis scores. Two dogs were removed because of owner noncompliance. In the active-to-placebo group (n = 9), halitosis was significantly reduced during application of the active gel but increased during application of the placebo. Seven of 9 owners reported increased halitosis when treatment was changed from the active gel to the placebo. In the placebo-to-active group (n = 9), halitosis decreased during application of the placebo and continued to decrease during application of the active gel. Seven of 9 owners reported a decrease in halitosis with the active gel.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An oral topically applied gel with essential oils and polyphenolic antioxidants applied daily after an initial professional dental cleaning decreased oral malodor in dogs.

Contributor Notes

Supported in part by PerioSciences LLC.

Dr. Low is a consultant for PerioSciences LLC.

Address correspondence to Dr. Low (Slow@dental.ufl.edu).