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It started out with a Kiss!

It started out with a Kiss

With Valentine’s Day here upon us we are all feeling the love in the air. However do you ever think about what you may be kissing?

Kissing can provide many health benefits and can be pretty fun, but sometimes it can also result in the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The sharing of saliva during kissing can result in millions of bacteria being passed on to each other, some of these bacteria can be good but others may lead to unwanted infections or viruses.

The benefits of kissing include emotional bonding and stress reduction. Kissing also promotes saliva flow which contains substances that help fight bacteria, this in turn creates a healthier mouth. Exposure to germs in general can help strengthen your immunity too.

 

Here are some of the bugs that can be spread through kissing-

  • Colds and flus
  • Glandular fever- More commonly known as the kissing disease as the virus is spread through contact with saliva.
  • Herpes infection (cold sores) – contact with the blisters that often form on the lip and around the mouth can result in developing the herpes simplex virus. Once contracted this bad boy stays with you for life.
  • Hepatitis B- although it is very unlikely to develop hep B through kissing it is thought if someone has open sores in or around the mouth a person has a chance of being infected. In Australia thank goodness majority of us have been vaccinated against this.
  • TOOTH DECAY! Dental decay is actually caused by bacteria. The bacteria that cause tooth decay is not found in the mouth of newborn babies. The colonization of the bacteria therefore happens through the transfer of saliva (therefore kissing).

Here are the best ways to avoid the spread of infections while kissing –

  • Avoid kissing when you or the other person is unwell
  • Avoid kissing at times where you or the other have an active cold sore, ulcer or warts around the lip or mouth
  • Maintain good oral hygiene– keep that bacterial load to a low by maintaining routine brushing and flossing
  • Stay up to date with your immunisations

It’s definitely not all doom and gloom but just important to keep these factors in mind. Like we said earlier there are many health benefits to kissing and there is no need to give up kissing for the sake of your health. Just be mindful to avoid kissing when someone is unwell.

So Keep Kissing Lovers! By Ashleigh Lilly

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