A Kiss can Spread 80 Million Bacteria

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 24, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Couples share millions of microbes every second they kiss.
  • The study was published in the journal Microbiome.
  • Using the same toothpaste can be equally dangerous.
  • Common viruses you can transmit are cold sores, cold and mononucleosis.

A kiss is an intimate moment between two individuals who are mutually attracted. Kissing, however, can be quite harmful to your health. It is also the time when microbes are making out. According to a recent study, couples share millions of microbes every second they kiss.


kissing and health


Findings of a Recent Study

A study at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) claims that a 10-second kiss is long enough to transfer 80 million bacteria. The study was published in the journal Microbiome.

For the study, 21 couples were asked questions about their kissing habits, and they also had their mouths swabbed. The questions consisted how many times the couples kissed intimately, if they sucked a whole lot of face and there is a full tongue contact and saliva exchange. This was to know if they significantly shared salivary microbiota.

In the experiment, one member of each couple was given a probiotic yogurt drink after they had kissed, followed by more making out. Then the swabbed the couples' mouths and saliva to see if they transferred the yogurt's bacteria while kissing each other. Those who received the yogurt-y kiss ended up with thrice the amount of probiotic bacteria after the kiss. The researchers came to conclusion that a 10-second kiss can transfer 80 million — 80 million — bacteria into a partner's mouth.


kissing dangers


According to Kort, a microbiologist with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, shared living habits, such as using the same toothpaste, may also be impacting couples' mouths.

In a different study, the researchers at the TNO also found that tongue germs were more similar among couples compared to people who don't know each other.

Another study on the similar lines suggested how dangerous kissing can be. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) warns that one kiss has a potential to transfer more than 500 different types of disease-causing germs and viruses. The most common diseases and viruses that you can transmit to each other while kissing are cold sores, cold and mononucleosis.


A Different Point of View

Some studies suggest kissing can be good for you, based on the fact that if the diversity in bacteria increases — more different types of species. It can improve immunization, allowing you to build up resistance from exposing yourself to more microorganisms. However, it depends on who you’re kissing, and what types of oral microbial colonies they have.



(Image source:Gettyimages.in)

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