NewYork: Researchers have found that dogs have a lot of bacteria in their mouths and these can be transmitted to humans and cause periodontal problems.
In a study published in the Archives of Oral Biology, Japanese researchers scraped plaque off the choppers of 66 dogs and 81 humans at an animal clinic and a dog obedience school and putting the slimy stuff under the microscope.
Mouths of dogs were rife with the bacteria that causes gum disease in human beings like Porphyromonas gulae, Tannerella forsythia, and the Campylobacter rectus.There were smaller percentages of the same bacteria in the humans.
"The results suggest that several periodontopathic species could be trasmitted between humans and their companion," researchers wrote.
 Dr Ann Hohenhaus at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan said the study does not prove conclusively that kissing dogs poses any danger and added that organisms are not uniform across the board.
"But the whole thing when people say animals' mouths are cleaner than ours doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Dogs have a lot of bacteria in their mouths," she said.
"Like many people, I do kiss my dog and let him lick me, as a sign of affection," said veterinarian David Halpern at the Lefferts Animal Hospital in Jamaica, Queens. "However, it should be discouraged due to the potential for infection transmission. Mostly due to fecal contaminants as dogs do self-cleanse," Halpern added.


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