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DENTAL (un)COOL: To Pooch Smooch or Not to Pooch Smooch?

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Dog lovers and owners know how irresistible it becomes to kiss your sweet loyal friend at home, who already seems like a part of the family. Owners mostly become very affectionate with their dogs mentally, as well as physically that they do not even realize at times as to how many kisses they plant on their pet in a day or how many times their dog licks their mouth. Even parents of young children do not mind them going too close to the dogs at home or even kissing them.

However, a new study suggests that being too affectionate with your pet could harm your health. The study says that people who kiss their dogs, or let them lick their mouths could get infected with a gum disease from their pets. If left untreated, the gum disease could apparently turn into periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that affects the tissues that support teeth and hold them in place.

Further consequences of the gum disease could include decay of the jaw bone, and small spaces opening up between the gum and the teeth, causing the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. While most of the dogs suffer from periodontitis only about 5% will ever develop a cavity.

The study was conducted last year in Japan where the dental health of dog owners was examined. The findings revealed that 16% of the dog owners examined had a potentially harmful oral microbe normally found in dogs, but not in humans.

However, interestingly, the transfer of germs was not only found from pets top the owner, but from owners to the pets too. There were 10 cases of ten human periodontitis-related bacteria found in their pets. The researchers warn that even very low levels of contact could result in transmission.

The study was published in the Archives of Oral Biology.

For the full article, click here.


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