Do Love Bugs Exist?

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, love is definitely in the air! Many may not realize the role kissing plays in oral health. Kissing increases saliva production in your mouth, which helps to neutralize acids and wash away plaque that can lead to tooth decay. Kissing is also beneficial for your overall health, as it can reduce blood pressure, relieve cramps and headaches, boost self-esteem, and even help you burn calories! However, kissing has consequences too. Did you know that a single ten-second French kiss can transfer an average of 80 million bacteria from one mouth to another? 

According to a study conducted by researchers at Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, it’s true! The study examined tongue-swabs from 21 couples in Amsterdam. Some volunteers were also given a probiotic yogurt drink that contained a marker bacteria, and then asked to kiss their partners. Researchers found that a quick peck transferred an average of 1,000 bacteria, and a more intimate kiss transferred an average of 80 million bacteria from one mouth to another. It was also found that the more often a couple kissed, the more similar their saliva was in comparison to strangers.

Other studies have shown that cavity-causing bacteria can even be transmitted from a mother’s mouth to her baby.

According to the Micropia Museum, there are more than 700 different kinds of bacteria in the mouth. Although not all bacteria is bad, bacteria can produce acids and increase your risks of developing cavities. kissing is often a common way to spread cavity-causing bacteria, colds, cold sores, and the flu, especially if good oral health habits aren’t regularly practiced by you and your partner! It is important to brush, rinse, and floss daily. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth!

To reduce the risk of transferring or catching an infection while kissing, avoid kissing when you or your partner are sick or have active cold sores. Maintain good oral hygiene and schedule regular visits to the dentist.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.PradhanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.


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