The holidays are a festive time of year. People decorate their homes to the hilt with lights, trees, garland, and…mistletoe. There isn’t just an abundance of decorations and festivities during the holidays, there is also an abundance of bacteria being transferred from person to person by shaking hands, hugging, tasting each other’s drinks (not recommended), and…kissing. Yes, just one 10-second kiss under the mistletoe can transfer 80 million bacteria. Did you kiss under the mistletoe this holiday season?
Kissing is an act of affection in most every culture. You often don’t think twice about it, but maybe you should. Although over 100 trillion microorganisms live in your body and are essential for your survival, one simple kiss can transfer 80 million of them from one person to another. These 100 trillion microorganisms make up your individual microbiome which is shaped by factors such as genetics, age, diet, your surroundings, and the individuals with which you interact.
Your mouth contains over 700 different varieties of bacteria and those bacteria are influenced by who you are kissing. Research indicates that the more a couple kiss the more they share their oral microbiota and therefore the more similar their oral microbiota become. That’s why if your partner has a lot of cavities, you can end up developing cavities too.
During the study, swab samples of participant’s saliva were taken to determine each individual’s oral microbiota. One person from each couple was given a probiotic drink that contained specific varieties of bacteria called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. After engaging in intimate kissing for 10 seconds saliva samples showed three times the probiotic bacteria in the other partner’s mouth with 80 million bacteria having been transferred.
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Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 829-7700.