Cupid’s power brings benefits and hazards to the art of affection 

Likely the last thing on your mind when indulging in a little Valentine’s Day kissing is how that enjoyable activity might affect your health. At least, it should be the last thing on your mind if you’re doing it right. However, there is no getting around the fact we experience some unintended consequences to smooching. 

First, the good news. Puckering up and sharing some quality time with your partner releases chemicals in your brain that reduce stress and calm the mind. The positive effect that kissing has on emotional intimacy can’t be overstated. The connection kissing creates is both physical and metaphysical, which is a big way of saying that’s a good thing for the mind and body. 

And get this … kissing can even be a good thing for your teeth and gums. Deep kissing promotes the production of saliva, which contains substances that reduce the harmful effects of some bacteria present in your mouth. 

No good deed goes unpunished, and that includes kissing 

Of course there has to be a downside to this most enjoyable of Valentine’s Day traditions, right? The most obvious is the ability to transmit viruses and bacteria through kissing. These can range from the common cold to the herpes virus that causes cold sores. 

There is a reason infectious mononucleosis has long been known as the “kissing disease.” The Epstein-Barr virus that causes mono (also known as glandular fever) spreads through saliva. Other viruses and even warts can spread through kissing as well, especially if at least one of the individuals has open sores and blisters. 

Gross, we know. The moral of the story is we should enjoy Valentine’s Day (and every day) to its fullest, taking precautions as necessary while focusing on all the good parts of love and affection. Your prescription is to share at least two Valentine’s Day kisses with your partner to promote as much positive, healing, warm fuzzy feelings in your mind, body and mouth as possible. 

Taking advice from your dentist has never been more fun. 

About Dr. Dennis Lucas – Naples, Florida, dentist 

Dr. Dennis Lucas performs cosmetic and restorative dental techniques, as well as traditional preventive dental services for patients in and around Naples, Florida. His expertise, supported by the latest in dental technology, ensures oral health plays a role in his patients’ total healthcare picture. Call (239) 262-5851 to schedule an appointment.