By Adetutu Adetule

Kissing Humans is the pucker up for all kinds of reasons.

We kiss for love, to say hello and goodbye touch or caress with the lips as a sign of love, sexual desire, or greeting.

Benefits

Healthier mouth – saliva contains substances that fight bacteria, viruses and fungi. Deep kissing increases the flow of saliva, which helps to keep the mouth, teeth and gums healthy. Increased immunity – exposure to germs that inhabit your partner’s mouth strengthens your immune system.

It helps fight cholesterol: Kissing can have a positive impact on your blood lipid levels, according to researchers at the Western Journal of Communication. They say that romantic kissing can decrease serum cholesterol and increase overall relationship satisfaction for couples.

Kissing helps you ascertain how smart your partner is: Sloppy kisses enable you to assess if the person you’re kissing is a potential mate, according to research conducted by Oxford University. Scientists say the chemical makeup of saliva helps your body decide if the person you’re kissing will produce strong offspring.

You experience an adrenaline rush: When you kiss someone for the first time, your body will release a burst of adrenaline (the fight-or-flight chemical) which increases your heart rate, boosts your energy levels and gets the blood flowing.

Plenty of happy chemicals are produced: It’s not just adrenaline and oxytocin that your body produces. Other chemicals come flooding in too, making you feel happy afterwards. A Harvard professor of psychology, Justin Lehmiller, says when you kiss, your brain is flooded with dopamine — the very same chemical that is released when you do those things that you enjoy doing a lot.

Advantages of kissing

The act of kissing leads to the body producing endorphins or happiness hormones, meaning that the two kissers feel happy and relaxed. Kissing also helps to reduce the body’s cortisol levels, thus indirectly reducing stress

Why should we kiss on the lips?

Emotional bonding: Lip kissing induces the release of the hormone oxytocin, which has been linked to feelings of affection and attachment with other people. It can help nurture healthy long-term relationships.

Why kissing is important to a woman?

Kissing triggers your brain to release a cocktail of chemicals that leave you feeling oh-so-good by igniting the pleasure centres of the brain.

Kissing influences neurotransmitters and hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which also play a significant role in our relationships,” Kirshenbaum says. Oxytocin, for example, is linked with feelings of closeness, intimacy, and security. Showing affection with people you love can boost oxytocin.

Kissing can transmit many germs, including those that cause cold sores, glandular fever and tooth decay. Saliva can transmit various diseases, which means that kissing is a small but significant health risk. It’s not all doom and gloom. Research into passionate kissing has uncovered many valuable health benefits.

Whenever we think of kissing a person, the risk of getting a disease never crosses our minds. A kiss is a display of affection and we hardly associate it with contracting health conditions. Perhaps, this is because the prevalent ideology only bewares us of having sex with someone we don’t know the medical history of. But even before we go for kissing, there’s a need for a similar knowledge. This is because the following health conditions could follow a kiss with an unhealthy person.

What are the side effects of the first kiss?

Influenza

Influenza can be transmitted through an infected person. This can happen when one comes in contact with mucus or saliva. Typically such contact can occur in three ways: sneezing, coughing or kissing. Symptoms include muscle aches, headache, sore throat and fever.

Herpes

Herpes can be transmitted through kissing and can end up giving you cold sores in and around the mouth.

Syphilis

This is another disease that can spread through physical contact, such as kissing and sexual activities. Syphilis can also give you mouth sores. But this is an infection that can be controlled with the help of antibiotics.

Gum diseases

Even though gum diseases do not spread through kissing, the bad bacteria that cause the disease can. Therefore, flossing and brushing are your best buds.

You experience an adrenaline rush: When you kiss someone for the first time, your body will release a burst of adrenaline (the fight-or-flight chemical) which increases your heart rate, boosts your energy levels and gets the blood flowing.

It can expose you to nasty bacteria that make you feel miserable.

“Mouths can serve as a transmission route for germs because there is a close connection with the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems, and these are common sites of infections for germs,” explains Kelly Reynolds, PhD, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health. And that goes for people who seem perfectly healthy since humans can shed pathogens through saliva for a few days before and after experiencing symptoms.

As you might imagine, open-mouthed kissing is particularly icky: It transfers more germs than closed-mouth kissing, and the more germs you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to get sick, according to Reynolds.

While not kissing anyone at all is the best protection, simply not kissing people who have a fever (a telltale sign they’re contagious), seem run down, or feel like they’re getting sick can also help. Otherwise, kissing could mean you get a strep or staph bacterial infection, or in some cases, a cold or the flu (although you’re more likely to contract those from inhaling the particles an infected person expels when they cough since germs suspended in the air are more likely to be inhaled deep into the respiratory passage, according to Reynolds).

It can spread viruses like mononucleosis and meningitis that can put you out for weeks, if not months, Bacterial meningitis usually spreads through kissing

They’re two of the most commonly transmitted pathogens via kissing, according to Reynolds. Since the mono virus can persist and cause symptoms like extreme fatigue for upward of six months in some people, and meningitis, the inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord, can last up to 10 days, sometimes causing permanent and even life-threatening damage, neither conditions are remotely desirable.

It can lead to cold sores.

Kissing can spread cold sores, an infection caused by the herpes virus that’s marked by fluid-filled blisters around the mouth. Since the virus can be contagious regardless of whether sores are visible, kissing someone who doesn’t appear to be affected can still lead to a mouth infection.

It can expose you to blood-borne viruses like HIV.

Kissing can lead to transmission on the off-chance that both you and an infected partner happen to have tears in your gums, which can be caused by brushing too hard, aggressive flossing, or early stages of gingivitis, all of which create an opportunity for blood to be exchanged, according to Reynolds.

It can cause cavities.

Because kissing can expose you to bacteria found in your partner’s dental plaque and cavities, according to Reynolds, cavities are considered contagious. And that’s regardless of whether a partner’s breath seems minty fresh since anyone you kiss can pass an oral infection.

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