A new study advises pet parents to think twice before kissing dogs in the mouth.
Exchanging a smooch with your pooch could cause a harmful swap of dangerous mouth bacteria that could potentially result in gum disease and tooth decay for both humans and canines, medical experts said.
A report in the Archives of Oral Biology indicates that an innocent peck between master and pet can spread periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of the mouth tissue.
Most dogs suffer from periodontitis, though only about 5 percent will ever develop a cavity.
Last year, researchers examined dog owners in Japan and assessed the prevalence of 10 human periodontitis-related bacteria in their pets. Most strains were detected, two with extremely high frequency.
Researchers also analyzed an oral microbe normally found in dogs, but not in humans, and discovered it in 16 percent of owners,
The bacteria was found most in those who had close-contact relationships with their dogs.