Kissing Complications

Kissing is a normal part of life. Of course, we kiss different people differently – one kind of kiss for mom and another kind for the spouse! But are there any complications that can come with kissing?

Bacteria and viruses live in our saliva and can be spread by kissing. Does this mean you need to have a full checkup before smooching? No, but you might want to keep your own mouth as healthy as possible to help avoid possible problems.

The common cold is a virus that is easily spread through kissing but can also be caught by coming into contact with airborne droplets from an infected person. Avoid those who are sneezing! Infectious mononucleosis (mono) has long been called the “kissing disease” because the virus is spread through saliva. The likelihood that you will contract a virus is dependent upon your own immune system. Eat right, get enough sleep and exercise and your immune system should stay strong.

There are also viruses belonging to the herpes family that cause everything from chickenpox (Varicella-Zoster) to herpes simplex, that causes cold sores. The herpes simplex virus is easily spread to others through direct contact when kissing.

Bacteria of all kinds thrive in our oral cavity. Did you know that the bacteria that cause tooth decay aren’t present in the mouths of newborn babies? These bacteria are actually passed to the child from the parents, most commonly through kissing. Gum disease bacteria can also be transmitted through saliva. This is why the American Academy of Periodontology recommends that if one family member has periodontal disease, the rest of the family should be screened as well.

There are some positives that come from kissing. Around 80% of bacteria are common to everyone and only 20% are unique to you. The exchange of saliva in kissing can actually stimulate your immune system which can help you fight infection! Another positive thing about kissing is that you will probably take better care of your oral hygiene if you think you might be kissed. No one wants to kiss someone with bad breath and a healthy mouth, with no gum disease, and regular brushing and flossing will stay kissable.

Please contact Dr. John Highsmith today at 828-627-9282 to arrange your next visit so you can keep your smile clean, healthy and kissable.

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Posted in: Oral Health

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