Posts tagged ‘people’

Dog’s Mouths Are Not Cleaner Than Human’s

This probably shouldn’t be a secret. If you think about the things that dogs lick and humans don’t, then this should be pretty obvious. But, the myth that dog’s mouths are cleaner than human’s is perpetually propagated.

There is an old tale that you should let a dog lick your wounds to speed healing. The wounds may actually heal faster; that’s because the licking will stimulate circulation and clear away dead tissue, but it’s not because their saliva is cleaner than ours.

Some say that dog’s saliva is more acidic than humans so they break down bacteria better. Others look at the fact that dogs rarely get cavities or gum disease as proof.

The fact is, dogs have a similar amount of oral bacteria to humans. But, the types of oral bacteria varies between dogs and humans.

That’s why dogs rarely get cavities or gum disease, the types of bacteria that cause these problems are only found in about 5% of dogs. In fact, viruses and bacteria that affect humans usually don’t bother dogs and vice versa. For that reason, you may actually have a higher risk of becoming sick from kissing a human than kissing a dog. But, that doesn’t mean their mouths are cleaner.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: A Moment of Science, ABC, Life’s Little Mysteries

June 28, 2010 at 5:00 am 14 comments


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