Kissing your dog can cause gum disease: study

Lia Grainger
Shine On
October 12, 2012

Don't kiss your dogs on the mouth, people!

That's the message of a new study out of Japan, that found dog owners who kiss their pets or let them lick their mouths could catch canine gum disease, or give human disease to their pets.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers in Osaka, Japan, examined the dental health of 66 dogs and 81 members of 64 dog-owning families. It found that a type of periodontitis-related bacteria commonly found in dogs was also found in 16 per cent of the the human dog owners they examined. Germs normally found only in humans were also found in the dogs examined.

Also see: B.C. lawyer completes marathon in a suit, breaks world record

In case you're wondering, periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that infects the tissue responsible for keeping your teeth in place. It can lead to bone decay, spaces between the gum and teeth, and even loose or lost teeth. The awful sounding symptoms include horrible breath and red-purple bleeding gums. Apparently most dogs have periodontitis, but for some reason, only about 5 per cent will ever develop a cavity. Lucky pooches.

The study was published in the journal Archives of Oral Biology, and has at least one veterinarian jumping to the defence of dog oral hygiene.

Also see: More than one in five Canadian employees has depression: survey

Paul Maza of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University — who has previously defended dog kissingtells Fox News that "many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria in humans."

"If owners practice oral hygiene on their pets, such as brushing their teeth, a pet's mouth can actually be even cleaner than a human mouth," says Maza.

He adds that though fecal matter is sometimes consumed by dogs, it is usually swallowed and so clears the mouth quickly. How comforting.

What to Read Next

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Get 75,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points! Terms Apply. Offer ends 5/4

Argosy University℠, Washington DC

Prepare for the Future You Want. Earn Your Master's or Doctoral Degree in Psychology, Business or Education at AU, Washington DC. Apply Now!

Why Hollywood Won't Cast Seann William Scott

Seriously, where did Seann William Scott go? He was everywhere for a few years, but right around 2010, it seemed like he pretty much disappeared…

Walden University - PhD in Psychology

Earn your PhD in Psychology and make a positive impact within your community, organization, and profession. Request free information!

High Interest Payday Loans are Ancient History

$5,000 for $151/mo, 5.99% APR, 3 yr repayment, $0 down payment. Free, no obligation quotes. Get up to 5 offers in minutes. Start loan request now.

Homeowners (Born Pre 1981) Hit With A Big Surprise

Why did no one tell homeowners about this? If you currently own a home, you better read this.