To Kiss or Not to Kiss: Is Kissing Bad For Your Teeth?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on

Kissing may present a small health risk for both involved. Well, duh, you are swapping spit with someone else, and the two of you are exchanging over 700 different bacteria and organisms found in the mouth. Who would not expect to get more than some warm feelings when they kiss considering the bacteria load on the tongue and in the saliva? It is not all doom and gloom though. There are some benefits to playing kissy face with your special someone.

Benefits of Kissing

Okay, kissing literally gets the juices flowing. Saliva flow is increased when you kiss. No one likes a dry mouth. Am I right or am I right? Anyways, saliva is your natural cavity fighter. Saliva cleanses your mouth by washing away cavity causing debris accumulated during eating. Saliva has some organisms that help slow down the formation of plaque biofilm. The minerals in your saliva can also help restore small lesions on tooth enamel. Basically, healthy saliva flow is beneficial to health of your mouth.

Smooching is Risky Business

As previously stated, when you kiss, you are sharing saliva. So, one would expect to possibly contract a disease from kissing. Such disease include:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Cold Sores (or Herpes Simplex 1)
  • Meningitis
  • Mononucleosis

Although kissing is considered a low risk, it is possible to contract a STI when you kiss someone. Basically, when sharing saliva, you are sharing bacteria, which increases your chance of compromising your oral and systemic health.

Safe Kissing Tips

I am not even suggesting you stop kissing. I love the warm and fuzzy feeling I get from the tongue tango I do with my significant other. Kissing has risks and benefits and it should be enjoyed by all. Here are some tips to help avoid any unfortunate mishaps from occurring when swapping spit.

  • Maintain optimal oral hygiene by brushing two times daily, cleaning between your teeth at least once a day and visiting your dental health provider at least two times a year for regular exams and preventive dental care.
  • Know each other’s status prior to being intimate. This includes oral health and sex health.
  • Do not be kiss anyone who is sick or have visible sores.
  • If you or your partner have frequent bad breath episodes that is not resolved by brushing and flossing or sugar free mints or gums, it can be a sign of contagious oral disease such as cavities or gum disease.

Ultimately, your best interest is to maintain superb total body health. Just remember that kissing can both benefit and compromise your oral health. The moral to the kissing story is to maintain your oral health, do not kiss while sick, and take preventive actions that will keep you healthy so that you can enjoy the blissfulness of kissing!

So, you don’t have any one to kiss? Sugarless gum and plenty of water will keep the saliva flowing.


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