Kissing has its hazards and its helps, yet romantic implications aside, how is our oral health affected?
First, the bad news: Kissing, like any physical interaction, can spread viruses or germs if one party is infected. If you have blisters such as cold sores, open cuts, bleeding gums, or any other open wounds in or near your mouth, spare your partner and take a break from kissing. Any highly contagious virus or disease can be easily spread through contact with the mouth.
But the oh-so-good news: The production of saliva increases during kissing, which adds to the ranks of enzymes that protect our teeth from bacteria, viruses, and serve to strengthen our tooth enamel. The natural wash of water in our mouths also rinses our teeth from residues and helps break down plaque.
Your face is also working hard while kissing. As your facial muscles are exercised, any tightness in your jaw or other areas near your mouth can loosen up and lessen discomfort or lingering soreness. Increased blood circulation and levels of oxytocin help relieve stress, aches and pains. Those suffering from TMJ issues can particularly benefit from a healthy bout of kissing.
Although we do not recommend kissing as a replacement for any part of your oral health regimen, we advocate considering your oral health throughout your daily activities and interactions. Kiss responsibly.