Kissing brings many benefits for our health, but it can also be a way for the transmission of viruses and bacteria that cause diseases.
Bacteria and viruses that are present in the saliva or blood of one person can be transmitted to another through a kiss.
What diseases can be transmitted through kissing?
Colds are spread by direct contact with the virus. By kissing an infected person we get in direct contact with the secretions of his nose and throat.
- Kiss disease
Also known as glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis, it is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. The virus is transmitted through saliva and infection occurs through contact.
- Cold sores
Also caused by a virus, it can be transmitted through direct contact with the virus. Herpes is more easily transmitted when blisters are forming.
- Hepatitis B
Infection can occur when the infected blood and saliva of the infected person come into direct contact with the blood or mucous membranes of another person, for example if the person has open sores in or around the mouth.
- Meningococcal disease
This is a life-threatening disease, and is due to inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacterium that causes this disease is spread by direct contact or droplets of saliva. It is a very rare form of transmission.
- Dental caries
Did you know that the mouths of newborn babies lack the bacteria that cause tooth decay? Kissing babies on the lips causes these bacteria to spread to their mouths.
Even though there are some diseases that can be transmitted through kissing, remember that there is no need to give up kissing for the sake of health.
Most kisses do not cause any disease and the risk of serious illness is very small.
Some tips to avoid or reduce infections through kissing:
- Avoid kissing or being kissed when one of the two people is sick.
- Avoid kissing someone on the lips when there is an active mouth, warts or ulcers around the lips or in the mouth.
- Maintain good oral hygiene.
- Coughing and sneezing in a handkerchief.