Did you know that kissing can be good for your health? That’s right, and your dentist even admits that kissing can be useful for your dental health!
It might be strange to think about kissing and your health when you’re in the moment, but many changes and processes are happening in your body when you kiss. As with most things, some of those changes are good, and others might be a reason for concern.
What Is Actually Exchanged In A Kiss?
Many people think kissing exchanges saliva, and they are correct. Most people don’t realize that the exchanged saliva also houses millions of bacteria. Studies show that we have over 700 different types of bacteria and organisms living in our saliva. A 10-second kiss can transfer around 80 million bacteria from one person’s mouth to another.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Kissing?
First of all, endorphins are released. You’ve probably noticed and felt those endorphins a “good mood” feeling. Also, many changes are going on inside your mouth. Your salivary glands release more saliva when you kiss.
This is a good thing because It’s the saliva that helps neutralize the acids that sit on your teeth. Neutralizing the acids helps to reduce your risk of getting tooth decay. Kissing also exposes you to more germs and may help encourage your immune system to become a little more robust as a result. Lastly, we can’t leave out that kissing releases tension, work those facial muscles, and even burn some calories!
Are There Any Concerns About Kissing?
Like good bacteria can be shared through a kiss, bad (unwanted) bacteria are also transmitted through kissing. The undesirable bacteria may be related to the common cold, the herpes simplex virus, or even tooth decay.
As far as the common cold, if you or your partner are sick, it’s best to avoid kissing to keep from spreading these germs that can make the other person sick. If either you or your partner has mouth sores, avoid kissing as this helps keep from spreading herpes mouth sores to each other.
Tooth decay bacteria is essential to keep in mind when kissing babies. When babies are born, they don’t have any decay-producing bacteria present in their mouths. If an adult kisses them on the lips, the bacteria pass over to the baby and then colonize in their mouth, eventually causes decay in their teeth.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get a tooth infection directly from kissing. Tooth infections are usually caused by trauma to a tooth or decay that progresses into the tooth’s center. It is important to remember that saliva acts as a channel for all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Harmful bacteria can be passed from one person to another, and when it colonizes, it can lead to oral problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
How To Maintain Oral Health When Kissing?
After reading about the concerns of kissing, you might be feeling hesitant to kiss. Please know that we don’t want you to be scared to kiss your loved one; after all, kissing has many health benefits too! Following these few tips can go a long way in helping you and your loved one healthy while kissing!
- Practice safe kissing – knowing about your partner’s oral health can be helpful. Do they have gum disease? Do they have mouth sores? Gum disease and herpes simplex are contagious.
- Drink lots of water – this helps to rinse your mouth and to increase salivary flow.
- Don’t kiss babies on the lips.
- Maintain optimal oral health by brushing two times a day and flossing once a day.