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Kissing Your Dog May Make Your Teeth Fall off : Study

Update Date: Oct 13, 2012 10:54 AM EDT

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. He study says that people who kiss their dogs, or let them lick their mouths could get infected with a gum disease from their pets, Mail Online reports.

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 per cent 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 percent 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.

Dr Paul Maza, of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, told America's Fox News says that the risk of cross-contamination may depend on the oral hygiene of both man, and the dog.

"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"

People who should strictly think about voiding kissing their dogs are the ones with weaker immunity and the elderly.

The study was published in the Archives of Oral Biology.

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