Most people enjoy exchanging kisses with their loved ones. But can sharing a kiss with your child, spouse, or someone you are fond of pose any risk to your dental health? It is estimated that there are different varieties of germs and viruses that can be transmitted through a single kiss. Sharing a kiss with someone you don't know can pose as much risk to your health as changing sexual partner too regularly.
Viruses and Diseases That Can Result From Kissing
- Cold sores. These contagious sores appear as blisters around the mouth and lips and are spread by the herpes virus. Cold sores are particularly contagious when they still open and leaky. They can even be spread after scabs have formed.
- Infections of the upper respiratory tract. Any infection that affects the upper respiratory tract such as colds and flu can be spread by kissing. While colds can be spread by direct contact with fluids and secretions, cold germs are also airborne.
- Glandular fever or mononucleosis. This illness transmits easily by kissing or by sharing food or drinking vessels.
- Hepatitis B. While this can be passed on through a kiss, it is uncommon. It is even more important not to kiss someone whose gums are bleeding or who has periodontal disease because the blood tends to harbor much higher levels of hepatitis B than saliva, meaning it can be transmitted via the mucous membranes of the tongue, mouth, and gums.
- Tooth decay. When babies are born, they do not have the oral bacteria that causes tooth decay. So, it important this is not transmitted via a kiss from their parents.
- Periodontal disease. Kissing can spread the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
Is Kissing Beneficial In Any Way?
Despite the risks described above, there are quite a few benefits to kissing: For example:
- It can increase the flow of saliva in the oral cavity. Saliva is nature's way of protecting the teeth because it contains properties that help combat bacteria and virus attacks.
- The act of kissing uses many different facial muscles. It can help make the jaw bone and other areas of the mouth looser, thereby relieving discomfort from TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).
- Can strengthen immunity. Antibodies are transferred from one individual to another during kissing. Hence, you may get new antibodies that will make your immune system stronger. However, it is best to avoid kissing someone you know is ill.
- Kissing can improve an individual's mood. Oxytocin, the body's natural anti-depressant, is released by kissing. Hence, the activity produces feel-good chemicals in the body and reduces the levels of cortisol and even cholesterol.
- Increases the body's metabolism. It is estimated that passionate kissing can burn off around two to five calories a minute.
It is important to kiss those you care for and you should enjoy doing so. Just remember to protect yourself and the person you are kissing by keeping your mouth clean and in good health. Be selective about who you kiss and enjoy the company of your loved ones! If you want more information about the health benefits and risks of kissing, contact professionals from a clinic such as Sun Dental & Orthodontics.Share