Kissing and Oral Health
Human lips are uniquely designed to kiss and we often kiss our loved ones without a second thought. The lips contain some of the most sensitive nerve endings in our bodies, triggering unique chemical responses when we kiss that special someone. When we are close enough to kiss, it means we are in each other’s personal space, affecting our sense of smell and taste, and hopefully for the better. It goes without saying having good breath is important when we’d like to exchange a kiss.
Viruses and Kissing
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), you exchange over five hundred different types of viruses and germs when kissing. We’re in the middle of cold and flu season, so it makes sense to not kiss someone who is ill. But what else can you do to be kissable and stay healthy?
Avoid cold sores. Cold sores are extremely contagious and are caused by a virus. Of course, fluid-filled blisters on an infected person’s lips and mouth and are certainly not romantic. Until the cold sore is completely healed, don’t kiss to avoid giving or receiving a cold sore.
Mononucleosis, popularly called the “kissing disease,” is an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Mono is most commonly thought of as a younger person’s disease because high school and college students come down with it more often. Mono is passed through saliva and infected people are most contagious for up to eighteen months after contracting it. It can also be caught by sharing utensils or cups with someone who has mono. Once you’ve had mono, it stays with you for life and is detectable in your saliva even after you are no longer contagious. Not all people who are exposed to EBV will become infected and develop mono, but the reasons for this are as yet unknown.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy for Kissing!
So if you’re still in the mood after reading about those potential complications, here are some things that will maintain your “kissability”:
Brush and floss everyday.
Don’t skip your dental exams at the Placerville Dental Group.
Use mouthwashes and rinses as needed that are approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) for fresh breath and additional protection against decay and cavities. Fresh breath is high on the list when people rate attractiveness in another person, while while bad breath is the number one turnoff.
Too much garlic, spicy foods and coffee are bad breath promoters. If possible, keep a travel toothbrush with you to brush between meals, limiting bad breath problems.
Kissing your loved one promotes saliva production and saliva washes away food particles, remineralizes teeth, and neutralizes acids that erode enamel. Another way to get the same benefits is to chew sugarfree gum, especially after meals.
For more tips on having fresh, kissable breath, feel free to get in touch with our Placerville dentists. We will help you get your confidence started with good oral health. Schedule an appointment today!