Kissing- Is it dangerous ?

Written by on June 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

Welcome to Summer and Hello again from Dr Etue and Complete Dentistry,

I m asked every day if kissing can be dangerous. If kissing a spouse or a child can transmit disease. I thought as summer begins it s time to tackle this dilemma head on.

We all love kissing, so here are the facts-

Kissing transmits disease causing bacteria’s into the mouth, which is then spread to an individual’s blood stream or saliva glands, infecting them. It is important to know that not only cold viruses can be passed on while kissing that special someone. Glandular Fever is known as the “kissing disease”, it’s a viral infection that is spread from one person to another through saliva. A healthy immune system is the best way to fight this infection off.
Another disease one may catch while kissing is VZV (Herpes), this form of herpes is the most common now-a-days. It is in correlation with oral cancer and should be taken seriously. Chicken pox or cold sores are symptoms of herpes condition. These cold sores are known as “Simplex Herpes” and can still be contagious even after the wound seems fully healed to the naked eye. Chicken pox can be easily spread through direct contact with the infected area, droplets or even spreads airborne.
Hepatitis B is commonly passed on through kissing as well. Locking lips with someone who’s been previously infected or has current bleeding gums will then infect the recipient’s mucous membranes, infecting them with the disease too. A person’s risk of infection is much higher if they’re coming in contact with an open sore in or around the mouth of the carrier.

HPV can cause warts in the oral cavity and be spread through kissing. There is also an increased chance of infection if the area is one of recent trauma.
Although it may not seem dangerous, deep kissing surely does have its risks; the meningococcal disease can potentially be life threatening if not monitored properly, which someone can catch from kissing. The disease includes meningitis, which causes inflammation of the membranes that surround the spine and brain. This disease spreads through direct contact or by droplets.
Gum infections are a serious issue. Recent studies released from the American Academy of Periodontology state if one member of a family has Periodontal Disease, then all members of that family should be screened for it during their periodic evaluations as well.
Passionate kisses can actually be fortunate to one’s health. Deep kissing increases the flow of saliva which is what cleans the mouth and flushes away left over food to help prevent cavities. Saliva is in fact what keeps people’s gums and teeth healthy. Human bodies carry 80% of bacteria’s that are common to others, only 20% is actually unique to one’s self. With this being said, while passionately kissing, that unique 20% reacts to the others 20%; stimulating the immune system so it can create antibodies that will fight these foreign saliva bacteria’s. This Natural process is known as cross-immunotherapy, which helps the body to fight threatening infections.
People can prevent such diseases and viruses by simply avoiding kissing while sick, or while either person has a contagious cold sore, wart or ulcer in or around the oral cavity. Maintaining good oral hygiene will always be beneficial and seeing a doctor often for checkups keeps risks lower. Also consider paying close attention to immunizations one should know about, talk to a trusted Physician or Doctor.

So the bottom line is this- make sure you and your spouse take care of your teeth!! Urge your spouse to care for his or her teeth prior to kissing you or your little ones. Keeping our mouth clean and healthy in today’s age is easy and inexpensive. Complete Dentistry is here to help and everyone can accomplish this goal!

Please feel free to email or call with any questions on kissing and keeping you and your family safe and healthy

Until next month, Keep Flossing!
Dr Ryan Etue, DMD

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