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.