Puppy Smooches and Gum Disease
Hello to all dog lovers! Periodontal Associates knows how special pets can be to their owners as they provide love and affection, and for some hugging and kissing your furry ones are normal ways to show love. However, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman would encourage their patients to be careful about their affections as smooching up to pets could increase the risks of gum disease.
Exchanging kisses or allowing a pet to lick an owner’s mouth could allow pets to pass along gum disease. Dogs’ mouths contain various forms and great numbers of bacteria that are easily transferred through saliva.
This alarming warning became relevant after researchers in Japan examined the dental health of dog owners. These researchers found bacteria, normally only in dogs, present in 16 percent of owners’ mouths. Based on questionnaires, most of these 16 percent had a close relationship with their animals.
And if you really love your furry friend, you should know that bacteria can also be passed from owner to pet, too! Researchers also found ten different human gum disease related bacteria in their pets. Many pets suffer from periodontitis; so yes, dogs need regular hygiene cleanings too!
Infectivity can occur from a one-time occurrence or with frequent interaction. Obviously, the more regular the contact the higher the chances are for cross-contamination, but the likelihood of bacteria exchange can decrease if dental hygiene habits for man and his best friend is maintained well.
Dr. Paul Maza from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University told America’s Fox News, ‘Many of the different types of bacteria in dogs and cats are the same type of bacteria as 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.’
Periodontal Associates wants you to make yourself and your furry friend a priority when it comes to good oral hygiene. It is a good habit to brush, floss, and use mouthwash on a daily basis for humans and brushing your pet’s teeth often.
Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman only take care of owners here in our Aurora, CO office, but most veterinary clinics can do thorough cleanings. Also, just like you can pick up brushes and supplies at the store, many pet stores offer at home care products for your pup.
Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman do not discourage love towards animals, but they do ask everyone to take caution with certain types of contact. Especially if you are at higher risk for gum disease, like dealing with old age, diabetes, or pregnancy, it is even more important to keep kissing to a minimum.
For more information about how to symptoms of gum disease, risks, and treatments, please come in to visit with Drs. Versman, Heller, Beckman and our hygiene team. You can click here for an appointment or simply give us a call at (303) 755-4500. We look forward to helping you and your gums stay strong, healthy, and pink!