Kissing is one of the natural ways to express love and affection but many people do not know that there are certain dental diseases that can be transferred through kissing.
According to research kissing has a variety of health benefits, the act of kissing helps in the release of a hormone known as endorphins that can help improve your mood and also enhance the saliva flow, increased saliva flow can help protect you from oral health issues like tooth decay. Kissing also exercises your facial muscles and helps you burn some calories. While there are benefits of kissing; there’s also a risk involved, kissing can transmit some dental diseases.
What Happens When Two People Kiss?
During the act of kissing thousands of bacteria and microorganisms can be transferred from mouth to mouth. According to research, we have over 600 species of bacteria in our mouth These bacteria are found in the saliva and on the oral surfaces, including the teeth, tongue, and surrounding areas. The tongue itself is responsible for many of the bacteria present in the saliva.
The Benefits Of Kissing To The Oral Health
Now you have started to wonder how kissing that transmits bacteria from one mouth to another can as well be beneficial?
But one of the amazing things about those bacteria transmitted can help in one way or the other, some of the microorganism present in the mouth helps to slow down the growth of some harmful bacteria in the mouth especially those that cause oral thrush.
Also, the act of kissing helps to increase the production of saliva in the mouth and enhances the saliva flow. Saliva has a way of naturally cleansing the mouth, removing the food debris in the mouth and on the teeth, and also neutralizing some acids produced by these bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Dental Diseases That Can be Transmitted by Kissing
- Cold Sores: Cold Sores are also known as fever blisters. It is a type of virus-induced ulcer. Cold sores usually appear on the lips, mouth, tongue, or cheeks. It can also appear on any part of the body, but more commonly appear on the lips. Cold sores are most contagious as they are caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). This type of virus is also known as oral herpes, genital herpes, and herpes labialis. These types of viruses are usually contracted by other people especially when the blisters are present, they can be highly contagious; there don’t kiss anyone that has cold sore blisters on the lips because they are highly contagious then, don’t even share the same eating utensils until the blisters are gone.
- Dental Cavity: Dental Cavity itself cannot be transferred through kissing but the bacteria causing dental cavities can be transferred through kissing. These bacteria will colonize your mouth and damage your tooth enamel by releasing acid after digesting sugars, resulting in cavities. Transmitting this bacterial that causes dental cavity is more common when someone or your partner has a dental cavity or teeth decay already, it is easier to transmit the bacteria.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease is caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, kissing can transmit these bacteria too. They can pass that bacteria to you via kissing, which can potentially result in the typical inflamed, red gums that signal gingivitis. The best way to protect yourself is by maintaining excellent oral hygiene, so no matter what kind of bacteria someone’s introducing into your mouth, you’re on it before it can grow out of control.
Kissing Babies or NewBorns
Kissing babies or newborns directly on the lips is very wrong. When a baby is born their mouth is sterile; there is no presence of bacteria in their mouth. Kissing them directly on the lips will introduce this harmful bacteria in their mouth, these bacteria will colonize their mouth and put them at a higher risk of getting the harmful bacteria that cause dental cavities. Kiss your baby on the cheeks or on the forehead instead, also if you are a nursing mother ensure to keep your mouth healthy always, go to the dental clinic and treat any dental diseases you have; and fill all cavities for the benefit of your baby.
How To Keep Your Mouth Healthy While Kissing
Kissing can also be healthy so we are not advising you to desist from kissing your partner, but we advise you to practice good oral hygiene, this will help to reduce the bacteria load in your mouth. Below are the things you can do;
- Brush and floss daily using Toothpaste that has fluoride.
- Visit your dental clinic every six months for dental checkups, encourage your partner to do so.
- Don’t have multiple partners
- Don’t kiss anyone that has sores in or around their mouth until they receive treatments.
- Don’t kiss babies directly on the lips, to avoid putting them at the risk of getting tooth decay.
When you and your partner have healthy mouths and brush and floss properly, you’ve got nothing to worry about!