Summer Loving: How Kissing Affects Your Teeth, Gums and Mouth
With long sunny days outdoors and exotic vacations, ‘tis the season for love. And with love comes lots of smooching! When you’re in the moment with your loved one, we’re guessing that you aren’t thinking about how your kisses are affecting your mouth. Interestingly though, kisses really do impact your oral health, both positively and negatively. Our experts are here to tell you how exactly kissing does this with juicy detail. We’ll start with the bad news first.
The Ugly Oral Health Side to Kissing
Unfortunately, kissing can cause some bad stuff to go on in your mouth. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most common ways kissing can go wrong.
You can get herpes from kissing. You don’t need to go any further than kissing to catch an STD. Herpes infection viruses can be spread through your saliva, causing cold sores or blisters on your lips, around your mouth or even inside your mouth. Though they are typically harmless, they can get pretty annoying. Worst of all, there’s no cure. So be careful who you kiss!
Bad bacteria can increase your chance of developing gum disease. If your kissing partner has gum disease, or periodontitis, you’re getting their bad bacteria inside your mouth when you kiss. In fact, you’re sharing around 80 million bacteria with them! The worse the bacteria in their mouth are, the worse it will affect your mouth.
Don’t let these two issues scare you away from kissing. As long as you and your partner take care of your mouth and teeth, and communicate any oral diseases that you have, you shouldn’t be surprised with any unhealthy oral developments. In fact, kissing is typically great for your oral health, as you’ll see below.
Healthy Kissing is Good for Your Teeth, Gums and Mouth!
Your dentist orders you to keep kissing your partner! Well, as long as they have good oral health. Here’s why:
More saliva means fewer cavities. While you’re kissing, your salivary glands begin producing more saliva. Saliva is made up of water, electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes and antibacterial compounds that do lots of good things, including neutralize acids in your mouth, fight off bacteria and wash away food particles. All of these changes will lead to less tooth erosion, which means your dentist should find less cavities in your teeth.
Saliva protects your tooth enamel. Saliva is amazing. Along with fighting off bacteria and acids, the mineral salts in your saliva help rebuild the minerals in your tooth enamel, protecting your teeth from erosion and cavities.
More salvia means healthier cheeks and gums. Your gums and cheeks typically heal more quickly than your skin thanks to your saliva. According to Discover Magazine, proteins like vascular endothelial growth factor help to trigger the formation of blood vessels, which boosts your mouth’s healing processes.
Sharing kisses boosts your immune system. During a quick, 10-second kiss, you transfer as much as 80 million bacteria to your partner. But don’t let that stop you from smooching. It’s actually good for you! According to a study from the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, sharing these bacteria during a kiss boosts your immune system, keeping you healthy.
So there you have it! You have our approval to keep kissing a healthy mouth all summer long. If you or your partner needs a cleanup before a smooch session, feel free to stop by Water Tower Dental Care on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile! We’ll not only make your mouth sparkling clean, but we’ll also make sure it looks picture perfect for your partner with our cosmetic dentistry treatments.