Did you know that kissing has an array of positive and negative effects on our oral and overall health? Swapping saliva means exchanging the bacteria that colonize our mouths, whether they’re good or bad.
Read on in this blog from Restore Health Dentistry to find out how kissing can be both good and bad for you and how to practice healthy kissing.
The Positive Effects of Kissing
Kissing has many benefits on our overall immune system because when we kiss, our bodies release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that reduce stress and pain.
Kissing can boost our immune system by exchanging saliva that exposes us to more bacteria, which can be a good thing to increase your body’s germ defense. Another positive is that it increases salivary flow which is good for people with dry mouths.
Saliva plays a crucial role in oral health by protecting our teeth from cavities. Saliva washes away left behind food particles and bacteria and in turn, prevents acid attacks against our enamel.
When we don’t have enough saliva in our mouths, bacteria lingers longer which increases the risk for cavities. While we exchange bacteria in our saliva, it can surprisingly be beneficial for regulating healthy bacteria. Certain bacteria can fight off plaque and reduce the presence of harmful bacteria that lead to infections.
Negative Effects of Kissing
While we can exchange good bacteria through our saliva, it should be no surprise that we exchange harmful bacteria, too. This is particularly a problem if one of you is in poor oral health.
Some people are at a higher risk of developing cavities because they naturally have a higher presence of cavity-causing bacteria in their mouths. When you kiss, the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease can be transmitted to you.
Kissing Practices for Good Oral Health
You should stay hydrated to prevent dry mouth. A dry mouth puts you at a higher risk for tooth decay. Another way to stimulate saliva flow is to chew sugar-free gum. Look out for kissing a partner with bad breath as this can signal many oral health problems.
You should practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day. Don’t forget to brush your tongue. If you have persistent bad breath that doesn’t respond to brushing and mints, contact your doctor.
Regular dental visits every 6 months will keep your teeth clean, keep your breath fresh, and prevent oral health problems. Kissing is generally safe, but be wary of kissing anyone with an active oral health problem.
Maintain Your Oral Health At Restore Health Dentistry
If you are worried that you or your partner are swapping unhealthy bacteria, it may be time to come in for a dental cleaning. Contact us at Restore Health Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nancy William.