"FANGS, FUR, AND DENTAL HEALTH: EXPLORING THE INTRICATE CONNECTION BETWEEN HUMAN ORAL HEALTH AND INTERACTIONS WITH ANIMALS"

Main Article Content

Ritik Kashwani
Richa Bahadur
Anukriti Kumari
Sumana Kumar

Keywords

Animal Bite, Pasteurella Multocida, Capnocytophaga Gingivalis, Bartonellosis, Covid–19, Oral Health

Abstract

The article delves into the complex interplay between human oral health and interactions with animals. While we typically associate maintaining oral health with routine practices like brushing, flossing, and dental checkups, it is vital to recognize the influence of activities involving animals on our overall well-being. Although animal bites are relatively uncommon, they can result in dental issues. Moreover, these injuries carry the risk of introducing harmful microorganisms from the animal's mouth, potentially leading to illnesses. Pasteurella species, particularly Pasteurella multocida, are frequently encountered in cases of animal bites, underscoring the importance of appropriate treatment. The microbiome of the biting animal can also impact the recipient's oral flora, affecting the wound. Dental professionals who frequently interact with animals, such as veterinarians, animal caregivers, and zookeepers, confront distinct challenges in maintaining oral hygiene due to constant exposure to animal dander, saliva, and potential infections. Neglecting oral hygiene or infrequent dental care can exacerbate these risks, potentially resulting in conditions like gum disease, tooth decay, or oral infections. Additionally, allergies and asthma related to animal exposure can indirectly influence dental health. The article also touches upon the impact of diseases such as COVID-19, mucormycosis, and Capnocytophaga gingivalis infection on oral health. For example, Bartonellosis, caused by Bartonella henselae, can lead to oral ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, and lockjaw. Similarly, rabies, typically transmitted through animal bites, can cause excessive salivation, difficulty swallowing, and muscle spasms, affecting oral health.  In conclusion, this article highlights the importance of considering animal-related factors in oral health. It underscores the need for proper wound management, timely prophylactic measures, and comprehensive care when dealing with animal-related injuries or zoonotic diseases to prevent both short-term and long-term oral health complications.

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