Kissing someone you care about feels good. It lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress and, of course, improves your relationship with your partner. But did you know that kissing is also good for your teeth?
As crazy as that sounds, it's a scientific fact. When two people share a passionate kiss, they stimulate saliva production. Although sometimes a little messy, more saliva means that your mouth is better equipped to fight off cavities and repair damaged teeth.
Saliva Washes Away Food Debris
Dentists recommend that you chew gum because it stimulates saliva production. One way that saliva keeps cavities at bay is by washing away trapped food particles. Kissing, just like chewing gum, stimulates saliva production and flow. Trapped food serves as sustenance for acid-producing bacteria.
Though the thought of helping your partner wash away the remnants of their last meal with a kiss might seem gross, it's only miniscule particles, not huge chunks!
Saliva Keeps Plaque at Bay
Plaque, the sticky film that feels rough when you run your tongue over it, is composed of food debris and bacteria. Since plaque contains cavity-causing bacteria and later turns into a hard, chalky substance called tartar or calculus, it is not something you want on your teeth.
Fortunately, just as it does with food, saliva washes away the bacteria that cling to teeth. This prevents the formation of plaque.
More Saliva Means Faster Healing
If you and your partner kiss regularly throughout the day, the chances are good that you'll rarely suffer from dry mouth. This is healthy because a wet mouth heals faster than a dry mouth.
Why is this? A group of researchers from Lund University in Sweden discovered that the white blood cells found in saliva are more competent at fighting bacteria than white blood cells from other body parts. So you see, when you place a cut finger into your saliva-rich mouth, you'll be helping speed up the healing process.
Kissing Strengthens Your Immune System
A healthy immune system is vital to your teeth. In an unhealthy mouth, one that is often dry, conditions such as gum disease can wreak havoc on your gums and teeth. When you share a 10-second kiss with your partner, you are transferring and receiving approximately 80 million bacteria, according to a 2014 study.
Since some of those bacterial organisms may not be present in your saliva, your immune system will react to their presence. By creating new antibodies specifically designed to counter the new strains of bacteria, your immune system becomes stronger.
As you can see, the more you kiss, the healthier your teeth and gums will be. So, kiss away! Contact a dentist for more information on maintaining your dental health.