Canine Oral Bacteria
Bacteria are a basic component (Domain) of life. The complexity, amount and types of bacteria involved in the various organ systems of the dog far exceed the grasp of modern science. The oral ecology of a dog’s mouth is home to a tremendous amount and variety of microbes including viruses, fungi, protozoa and bacteria. Bacteria dominates the chemistry of the dog’s mouth with over 600 different species contained in the oral flora. The bacteria genera most frequently isolated in a dog’s saliva where Actinomyces(26%), Streptococcus (18%), and Granulicatella (17%). Even though scientist only understand about half of the bacteria in a dog’s mouth the ability to positively affect a dog’s oral health relies on established findings about known beneficial and harmful bacteria.
Porphyromonas belong to the family of rod shaped bacteria and are responsible for causing the decaying of the gums and loosening of affected teeth in both humans and animals. Studies of the bacteria have revealed that there are actually two branches of the Porphyromonas, P. gingivalis occurring in the mouth of humans and P. gulae in the oral cavity of dogs. Both the forms of bacteria reside in the periodontal tissues of the mouth.
Actinomyces species are normal residents of the oral cavity, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. These bacteria are particularly involved in the early plaque development on the tooth surface.
Plaque is the result of this bacteria providing a substrate for other types of bacteria to accumulate on the dogs teeth forming layers of various bacteria.
Dog oral care formulations may be evaluated based on analyzing their ingredients. A formulation needs to contain substances that eliminate the most frequently found bacteria types found in a dog’s plaque. A products capacity to penetrate all areas of the teeth and gums is determined by its compatibility with the chemistry of a dog’s saliva. The compatibility determines the life span of the product when applied, if the product is not allowed to function for prolonged periods it will be unable to reach bacteria in small pockets between the teeth and gums.