Is a Dog’s Mouth REALLY Cleaner That A Human’s Mouth?

It’s something we’ve all heard many times – “the mouth of a dog is cleaner than that of its owner”. But is that really true or just an urban legend?

After all, dogs eat off the floor, drink from the toilet and don’t seem too concerned with their oral hygiene. But the myth persists, so we asked veterinarian and author Dr. Marty Becker his opinion.

“They raid the garbage can. You know, we give each other a peck on the cheek when we say hello, they give each other a peck on the rear end,” said Becker. “All you have to do is look, watch, smell and you’ll realize that it’s not true”.

He thinks the myth that dog’s mouth is clean stems from their practice of licking their wounds so that they heal more quickly.

The good news is, even though a dog’s mouth is loaded with bacteria, the large majority are specific to them and can’t infect a human.

So go ahead – give your dog a big kiss. But please realize that dog’s teeth and gums need expert care just like ours. They are prone to dental infections, bad breath, and just like in humans, have a very high incidence of gum disease. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth frequently (unless they are smart enough to brush their own!) and have them cleaned and checked by a qualified vet.
I remember when we went to our vet on the other side of Bryn Mawr in Haverford, Dr. Reggie Royster’s office he had a poster up that said that periodontal disease was the most common disease for cats and dogs.

That’s how big of that the battle is that we’re all fighting!

Just like human’s!

At Dillon Family Dentistry, we love dogs (and cats too!) and hope that you give your pets the best care possible. But don’t forget yourself and your human family! Proper oral hygiene at home, including regular brushing and flossing, along with seeing your dentist on a regular basis, can help you keep your teeth healthy for life.

When it comes to healthy mouth and beautiful smiles, we are here for you. If you have any questions or need to make an appointment, please give us a call at 610-525 5497.
Your friends, family and dog will love you for it!