Research into kissing has uncovered both good and bad health issues. Kissing may transmit a small number of disease-causing bacteria and viruses through the oral cavity. The following are the most common:
- Upper respiratory tract infections like colds can easily spread through a kiss. Colds are believed to be spread by direct contact with the virus.
- Glandular fever (kissing disease) is a viral infection called mononucleosis and is spread through saliva. This is very common among teenagers.
- Herpes infection viruses spread through direct contact with the virus when kissing (it’s most likely to spread when the blisters are forming or when they first erupt).
- Be aware, periodontal disease also can be transmitted through saliva. This is a good reason to be screened at your Golden, CO dental office to be sure you and your family members have a healthy mouth.
It’s not all gloom and doom. Kissing has many valuable health benefits, too.
- Saliva contains substances that fight bacteria, viruses and fungi. Deep kissing increases the flow of saliva which helps keep the mouth, teeth and gums healthy.
- It can combat tooth decay. The increase in saliva neutralizes acids and flushes away food particles which can ultimately cause tooth decay. It also helps with people who have dry mouth to have an increase in saliva production.
- Kissing may help you look younger (who doesn’t want that?). By exercising the muscles in your face you may appear to look younger and happier and thus boost your immune system
- You could also lose weight. You might burn 2-3 additional calories per minute. Kissing stimulates a different brain chemical system which translates into a sense of calm and peace. Ultimately, you won’t be going to the freezer looking for your favorite ice cream.
If you have no one to kiss, try chewing sugar-free gum. It’s not quite as fun, but very effective in producing additional saliva.
Don’t let the potential dangers stop you from kissing. Just be sure to practice good oral hygiene before you begin to kiss your loved one. They will thank you for it.