To help keep you safe on the “Kissing Day” here is some information on mouth germs and what this means to you, the kisser.
Virus’ are probably the first thing that spring to mind when thinking about kissing and disease. Upper respiratory tract infections, also known as colds are the typical and most spread germ in North America. The reason no one has cured the common cold is because there are many, many virus’ that cause infection in the upper respiratory tract.
If you didn’t think common cold before I’m sure you thought about Glandular Fever, commonly known as the kissing disease. Caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, Glandular fever is the common medical term used for a little ditty we like to call infectious mononucleosis- Mono. The virus can be picked yp from a drinking fountain or even a doorknob, but it’s not called the kissing disease for nothing. It’s transmitted through saliva.
Herpes is more than a mythical Greek god; it is also a very common infection, often spread by kissing. Cold sores are actually herpes. Don’t think you’re safe just because you don’t see any sores on your partner’s mouth either- the disease can be spread from the site of the sore even when the sore itself does not appear to be present.
As if things haven’t gotten gross enough, warts can be spread through kissing as well. This is especially true if there are areas of recent trauma within the mouth from say a burn, tooth extraction or a scratch.
We’re not limited to passing off viruses either; bacteria can be an issue when we pucker up as well.
Meningococcal disease is a condition which includes meningitis, inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, and septicaemia. The risks associated with this disease are nominal but have been linked in a few cases to deep kissing.
There’s a reason we call each other sweety. The bacteria that cause tooth decay are passed back and forth with every kiss. But there are plenty of over the counter products and a visit you’re your Columbia dentist can offset this risk.
The important thing when kissing someone is to make sure that the someone you are kissing is someone you want to kiss.