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Can a kiss harm your teeth?

Can a kiss harm your teeth? – When a simple peck turns into toothache

Many of us have surely heard about it and at least some of us have asked the question whether it is true: Can one of the best things in life - kissing - really cause unpleasant gum inflammations and even tooth decay? And that despite proper oral hygiene? Well then, let's read on and find out.

So it really is possible to pass on dental decay via kissing?

Each and every kiss easily transmits over 80 million (!) bacteria between both involved parties - in other words, 80 million opportunities to also exchange diseases. And if one partner happens to be sick, the risk of infection only rises further. This is also the case for some dental diseases such as periodontitis and tooth decay, both of which can be caused by different types of bacteria. Nevertheless, the likelihood of infections from exposure to these bacteria alone is relatively low without the presence of some other aggravating factors, such as:

  • Unpleasant metabolic disorders (e.g., diabetes)
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal imbalances (e.g., caused by pregnancy)
  • Genetic predispositions

An additional risk-increasing factor is the fact that periodontitis has become very common and nowadays affects almost every other person with varying degrees of severity. As a result, even the most harmless peck can transport dangerous pathogens into the oral cavity of one's partner where they can find a new home and start to spread. As if all of this weren't annoying enough, the ability of periodontosis to remain virtually symptom-less until it is way too late for preventive measures exacerbates the risk even more. Once detected, a swift treatment start is highly recommended to prevent periodontosis from causing more severe damage such as triggering a reduction of bone mass in the jaw or causing teeth to fall out.

How can you stop the transmission of tooth decay via kissing?

The by far most important driver of tooth decay and periodontitis is the quality (or lack thereof) of one's dental hygiene. Any lapses on that front could allow bacteria to use the mouth as a breeding ground and to then cause more and more damage with increasing severity over time. A healthy diet is also very important and should not contain too much sugar which, when transformed into acid, can attack the periodontium.

The best move against tooth decay and periodontitis is the maintenance of top-notch dental hygiene which can consist of a combination of self-care and professional dental cleanings. Once such a solid dental care regimen is in place, any concerns with kissing should be a thing of the past.

Have Fun On Kiss-Your-Partner Day 2019

While happy couples do not need a special reason for the occasional peck, the annual Kiss-Your-Partner Day is right around the corner. Therefore, it is that much more important to remember proper dental hygiene to make every flirt, kiss, and partnership overall that much more enjoyable. So don't sit back when you notice even an inkling of a dental problem and go straight to the dentist (and tell your partner to do the same).

For more interesting stories, feel free to check out the DentalAce blog and join our online community via a free subscription HERE.

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All the Best & see you soon, Ace!


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