It’s important to take a moment this festive season to first consider a few key issues when it comes to your oral health. For most of us, kissing is a lovely way to connect with others and, for all sorts of reasons, is good for us. ¹Passionate kissing especially can have many health benefits in boosting the immune system through exposure to more germs. ² Kissing helps to produce more saliva and neutralise acids which cause tooth decay, but sharing saliva and bacteria can’t always be thought of as a health promotion strategy.
Most of us don’t have a detailed history of each other’s oral health and prefer to keep the specifics between ourselves and our dentist. At the risk of stating the obvious, kissing which involves someone else’s mouth, tongue and saliva is the perfect way to transmit germs which can lead to illness and disease. It’s not always clear if someone has oral health issues or is sick, which can make it easier to decide not to get too close and personal. But bacteria and viruses are tiny and may only be seen under a microscope. Gingivitis, periodontal disease and cavities are all caused by bacteria which are all easily transmitted from person to person.
Understanding what’s going on in our mouth requires a high degree of expertise and skill, which is why booking regular appointments with your dentist is so important.
Of course, there’s many different types of kissing, but the kind which carries the most risks is where there’s direct contact with each other’s mouth. Kissing on the cheek or forehead isn’t so concerning, it’s ‘contact’ kissing from person to person and droplet infections which boosts exposure to germs. Contagious bacteria and viruses which cause illnesses like the common cold, influenza, herpes virus or even some types of mouth warts can all be shared through kissing.