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A Dog’s Mouth is Not Cleaner Than a Human’s Mouth

dog kissesHave you ever been told a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s? (Which makes it okay to eat the sandwich your dog just licked…) Well the truth is, that is not the case. Read on to learn why. Thanks for visiting Castle Rock Endodontics!

Today I found out dog mouths are not cleaner than human mouths.

If this were the case, I’m pretty sure a dog’s mouth would be some sort of medical miracle, considering: they rarely if ever have their teeth brushed or mouths cleaned; they literally put their mouth on everything; and they use their tongue as toilet paper for not only themselves, but also any other dogs they encounter. Mouths are a great environment for bacteria to thrive; so barring some innate very strong anti-bacterial agent in their saliva, this myth just wasn’t going to be true. There are also numerous types of diseases associated with dog bites, including pasteurella, tetanus, rabies, klebsiella, proteus, E. coli, eikenella, etc, which point to the fact that a dog’s mouth couldn’t be sterile, as people often claim.

Don’t just take my word for it though. According to a study on the relative amount of microbes in a human’s mouth vs. a dog’s mouth, dog’s mouths had significantly more bacterial colonies than a human’s mouth. In this study, they measured the number of bacterial colonies per square centimeter in a dog’s mouth vs. a human’s mouth. The samples were taken after both had eaten and without the humans being allowed to brush their teeth before the sampling. The results were scaled down to a 1-4 scale where 1 is the cleanest, with relatively few bacterial colonies (“relative” being the operative word as both human and dog’s mouths are teaming with microbes), and 4 being the grossest, meaning relatively high amounts of different bacterial colonies. According to the study, 10% of the dogs scored a 1 (relatively clean); 30% scored a 3; and the remaining 60% scored a 4 (grossest). With the humans, 70% scored a 1; 20% scored a 2; and 10% scored a 3.

Continue reading HERE.