The mistletoe is down, the winter weather has you wanting nothing more than a cozy fire and the one you love, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If this is not the season for love, nothing is. It’s also the season for the flu, for colds, and for other things you probably don’t want to spend another second thinking about. This is the time of year you probably want to spend a bit more time with the one you love, and that means there might be a little more kissing involved.
Kissing is nice. It’s also a great way to burn some calories, so it’s recommended. Of course, you’re not burning calories kissing anyone other than your significant other, but you’re going to steal a few kisses from your sweet babies and even those from your grandmother. Kissing is common. Romantic kisses, sweet baby kisses, kisses on the cheeks between friends, and so many other kisses happen every day. Do you know how many times a day you kiss someone in your life?
You probably don’t want to think about it once we tell you how many germs are involved in all that kissing. It turns out kissing the person you love is also a great way to transfer about 80 million germs between the two of you. Does that make you want to keep your lips to yourself? Kissing and germs go together like peanut butter and jelly, and we know how that makes you feel. With those germs and all the romance of Valentine’s Day on your mind right now, it’s time to share a few facts about germs, kissing, and your health.
You wash your hands regularly, you carry hand sanitizer around in your handbag, and you’re careful not to touch the handrails on the escalator or anything else in public. You do a good job of keeping your hands to yourself and sanitizing the things in your life to prevent the spread of awful germs, and you’re proud of that. Unfortunately, every 10-second kiss with the person you love is spreading more than 80 million germs. That’s gross, and there’s not a more elegant way to say that.
Those 80 million germs are working their way from one mouth to the other and back. That means you’re leaving a kiss with more than just butterflies in your stomach. You’re also leaving with a plethora of germs in your mouth. Many health concerns such as illness and disease are spread from direct contact, which is precisely what kissing is.
You can kiss the person you love all day long, and that’s a nice feeling. However, you’re sharing far more than a simple romantic moment and exchange of feelings when your lips touch. You’re sharing viruses and so much more. Some of the most common viruses are spread through direct contact, which is what happens when you kiss.
- Cold Germs – Colds are easily spread from one person to another through direct contact. If your significant other has a cold and doesn’t know it, your kiss could share that cold. This doesn’t mean you should stop kissing your loved one, however. You can also get his or her cold through droplets released during a cough or sneeze, or even from accidentally using his or her toothbrush or sharing a drink. Kissing is nice, so don’t stop.
- Herpes – Unfortunately, this is a negative. The herpes family is a big one, and there are many ways to catch this infection. It’s spread as an STD, it’s also spread as a cold sore. It can be given to your loved one when you kiss, which is why it’s so important you do not kiss your loved one if he or she has a cold sore. It’s not impossible to spread herpes through contact when there is no blister formed on the lips, but it’s less common than spreading the infection when there is a cold sore present.
- Glandular Fever – Did you know there is a kissing disease? There is, and this is it. It’s another term for mononucleosis. It’s spread through direct contact with saliva, and it’s a health problem that doesn’t go away quickly.
- Hepatitis B – This is a dangerous health problem, and you don’t want it. The good news about the spread of Hep B is you can’t really get it from just kissing. The situation has to be just right for this to occur. You need an open sore in your mouth, and your partner needs one in his or her mouth. It’s most commonly spread through the exchange of blood, and you might not want to share a kiss with someone who’s got a mouth full of blood.
Now that you know how many germs and infections and viruses are spread through the exchange of a simple kiss, you’re probably thinking about how you never want to kiss someone again. How often have you spent time in your life kissing the person you love and lived to tell about it? Most of the time, right? This is good news, and there is no reason to stop kissing the person you love. In fact, we recommend you try more of it.
There are many benefits to sharing a kiss with the person you love, and that includes everything from burning calories to bonding emotionally with your spouse or partner. When you kiss, you burn calories. We don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot more fun than hitting the gym every day. You also bond with the person you’re with. Kissing your partner is fun, and it’s intimate. When you share a kiss with someone in this intimate manner, you form a bond with them that becomes stronger with each kiss.
Kissing also relieves stress. Each time your body responds to a kiss, your brains releases neurotransmitters that reduce the stress you feel. Your mood is instantly increased, your life feels instantly better, and you find yourself happier and less stressed. No one wants to leave that kind of feel-good stuff out of their lives.
Believe it or not, kissing is actually good for your immune system. We know you think that sounds crazy after just mentioning kissing someone can give you herpes, hepatitis, and mono, but it’s good for you. Your mouth is healthier the more time you spend kissing your partner provided you both share healthy saliva. Saliva sounds disgusting, but it’s filled with healthy bacteria designed to fight unhealthy bacteria. Your partner is doing you a favor sharing all that good bacteria with you.
Kissing also improves your immune system by exposing you to germs that your body gets to fight. When your partner shares his or her germs with you, your body learns to more adequately and better fight them. You can thank your partner for making you stronger and healthier by simply kissing you throughout the day.
We don’t recommend you go around kissing just anyone if you don’t have someone special in your life, but we do recommend you make the most of your kisses when you have the opportunity. Never kiss someone who is sick or has a cold sore on his or her mouth. This is the best way to prevent the spread of illness. Your body is going to thank you for that one.
If you’re worried about all the germs, don’t panic. You’re exposed to so many germs during the day you wouldn’t leave the house if you realized just how many you encounter doing things all day long. The cell phone you’re using to read this blog? It might have more germs on it right this second than a public toilet seat, and that should scare you more than kissing someone you love.
Kissing is good for you, so take your time with it. Make your kisses count. Take advantage of burning those calories and making your immune system strong. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so make a date with the person you love and try out your kissing skills a little more often than usual. There is a lot of germs and unwanted sharing involved in kissing, but there’s more good to it than bad. Let yourself take advantage of the very simple pleasures kissing provides.
On that note, be sure you are only sharing kisses with healthy people, with people you’re allowed to kiss, and only during the appropriate time. You’re not going to get a lot of good reviews at work or school if you’re kissing instead of working. It might sound nice, but the health benefits of kissing might not be nearly as welcome during work or school hours. Go out, kiss, and enjoy your life to the fullest.