Have you ever heard that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth? It’s rather hard to believe considering dogs wash themselves with their tongues and most don’t participate in the dental hygiene rituals that most humans are accustomed to. If you think that a dog’s mouth can’t possibly be cleaner than a human being’s, you are correct. In the past some studies were done on dog bites versus human bites and the damage they inflicted as well as the rate of complications for each. In the study, the human bites proved to result in more complications. There are a few things that must be taken into consideration though before analyzing these results. Dogs and humans have about the same number of bacteria in their mouths and are afflicted by many of the same dental diseases. Dogs and humans have some bacteria in common but they each also have their own bacteria that are specific to the species. This makes it difficult to compare the two and draw a conclusion as to which is “worse.” What we do know is that bacteria in a dog’s mouth are unlikely to make a human ill and vice versa, whereas human bacteria can easily make another human sick. Another reason that people often believe that dogs have cleaner mouths than humans is that dogs lick their wounds and these wounds seem to heal quickly. The dog is actually not disinfecting his wound though; he is simply removing dead tissue which promotes healing in the wound. This is not unlike how a surgeon would clean out a wound that a human being had sustained. The bottom line is that if you want to let your favorite pooch give you a “kiss”, you don’t need to be overly worried that he’ll spread some kind of doggie disease to you; however it’s always good to make sure he’s up to date on vaccinations and is generally healthy.