Kissing feels good anytime and any day especially when this happens between two lovers. Kissing not only gives physical pleasure but also has lots of health benefits. According to some researchers kissing began millions of years ago as a result of mouth-to-mouth feeding, with mammal mothers chewing food and then “forcing it” into the mouths of their young. Incredible!
“From these observations, it is claimed that humans also learned kissing from exchanging food between mothers and their offspring,” Texas A&M University anthropologist Vaughn Bryant, who has long researched the history and spread of kissing, told Discovery News.
“However, if this were true and it was innate, then why didn’t all humans kiss? We know that many cultural groups did not kiss and knew nothing about it until they were shown,” Bryant said.
While the true origin of kissing remains a mystery, historians have found in India the earliest references to the practice.
When kissing your partner, you should always remember that kissing doesn’t have to be restricted to just the lips; you can explore the cheeks, chin, eyelids, tongue, forehead, neck, or even the breast if you are really in love with your partner!
Nonetheless, the style and type actually are actually inconsequential. The only thing that one should be concerned about is that you are enjoying it, and she/he is enjoying it. If not, something will eventually fall into place, and you will then begin to enjoy it!
Below are 8 health benefits of kissing you probably didn’t know;
1. Kissing is healthy for your teeth—as long as the two of you are fairly hygienic
According to Sivan Finkel, a cosmetic dentist in New York City, kissing leads to increased saliva production, which helps our teeth rid themselves of harmful bacteria. “The extra saliva helps remineralize teeth and protect them from acid attacks,” he says.
Even better, some experts believe that saliva’s mineral ions can promote the repair of small lesions in tooth enamel—but again, oral hygiene is key. “Before you swap [spit], check their breath, and if they pass the sniff test, then kiss away,” Dr. Finkel says.
2. Kissing is an immune system booster
More than 700 types of bacteria have been found in the human mouth, but no two people have the exact same makeup of oral germs, so exchanging saliva with someone can introduce new “foreign” bacteria into your body, which isn’t bad thing.
“Trillions of microorganisms live on or inside us, and collectively they’re known as the microbiome,” says Shilpa Ravella, M.D., a gastroenterologist and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Ravella points to a recent Dutch study that found that when we kiss for more than 10 seconds, about 80 million bacteria are transferred between us and our partner, which can introduce new and sometimes helpful bacteria into our mouths. “Many studies have shown that having a variety of bacterial species correlates with good health. A diverse microbiome can help regulate the immune system and protect against harmful germs.”
We’ll take that over a booster shot any day.
3. Kissing helps to lower anxiety
From a chemical standpoint, one of the primary health benefits of kissing is its ability to release the hormone oxytocin (known as the love hormone), according to Stephanie Hartselle, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University, who cites its ability to induce a sense of calm, relaxation, and bonding in humans. The hormone, which is also released during foreplay and orgasm, “has been shown to be as powerful as meditation and many antianxiety medications in producing a feeling of peace and contentment,” Dr. Hartselle says.
Research has also shown that kissing reduces the chemical cortisol, which is associated with stress.
4. Kissing can help lessen allergic reactions
Bet you never knew making out could help ease itchy symptoms that come with nasal or skin allergies.
Stay with us on this one: In 2006 allergist Hajime Kimata studied 24 patients with two types of allergies—mild atopic eczema (a skin allergy) and mild allergic rhinitis (a nasal allergy)—before and after they had kissed lovers or spouses for 30 minutes while listening to soft music.
“Usually, when you have an allergy, your body overreacts by producing IgE, an antibody to a specific allergen,” says Srini Pillay, M.D., a Harvard psychiatrist. “But in these groups, after kissing, this antibody was decreased, thereby decreasing the allergic reaction and symptoms.”
5. Kissing helps to lower blood pressure
According to Ryan Neinstein, M.D., a plastic surgeon in New York City, our lips are made up of blood vessels, which become dilated during kissing. “The blood is then directed toward the face and away from the rest of the body,” he says, “so the demand on the heart goes down, resulting in lower blood pressure.”
Also, remember that fact about cortisol? When your cortisol level is lower, so is your blood pressure. “The more you kiss, the more your heart races, and the more your blood flows, ultimately reducing high blood pressure,” Dr. Neinstein says.
6. Kissing can help delay signs of aging
Another reason to kiss as much as possible: The increased blood flow to your face can stimulate collagen production and contribute to antiaging. “The higher blood flow increases the number of small blood vessels helping to nourish the machinery of the skin,” Dr. Neinstein says. It also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which is the substance “that beautiful skin is made of.”
“In order to move your lips, your whole face has to get involved, which increases elasticity,” Dr. Neinstein says. “Have you seen face yoga or facercises? There are yogis, estheticians, and dermatologists training women to do exercises for their faces to stimulate collagen and lessen the need for a face-lift. Passionate kissing can lead to firming the face, especially it’s bottom half.”
7. Kissing is kind of like a treadmill—for your face
While a “simple” kiss burns only a calorie or two, tongue kissing uses all the muscles in your face and can burn up to 26 calories per minute.
“There are 43 muscles in your face and eight in your tongue,” Dr. Hartselle says. “Kissing increases the blood supply to those areas by dilation of the vessels, and it’s possible that the muscle workout, combined with the facial flushing, in extended kissing sessions allows your facial muscles to be healthier and revitalized.”
8. It increases your sex drive
This one may seem obvious, but Rachel Abrams, M.D., an integrative health expert and author, points out that testosterone—the hormone responsible for sex drive in both women and men—is released into saliva during prolonged kissing.
“In a study, males were more likely than females to initiate open-mouth kissing and kissing with tongue contact, and male saliva contains measurable amounts of the sex hormone testosterone, which can affect libido,” Dr. Abrams says. “Testosterone is also an antidepressant, and it helps with mental focus.”
Another fun fact: Women who kiss other women also exchange testosterone, since we’ve got it too. So whether your partner is male or female, you’re sharing hormones and pheromones.