Why Is Kissing Important? 16 Health Benefits of Kissing

Medically Reviewed on 2/2/2022
Why Is Kissing Important
Kissing can relieve stress and anxiety, encouraging emotional bonding, lower blood pressure, and increase sex drive. Here are 16 health benefits of kissing

Kissing someone with your lips is more than just a fun way of showing affection. Kissing can relieve stress and anxiety, encouraging emotional bonding, lower blood pressure, and increase sex drive.

Here are 16 health benefits of kissing.

16 health benefits of kissing

  1. Stress relief: Kissing releases chemicals in your brain such as serotonin and dopamine, which are known to reduce stress levels and make you feel good.
  2. Anxiety reduction: Lowered stress can also help reduce anxiety and promote an overall sense of wellness.
  3. Improved self-esteem: In addition to making you feel happier, kissing can reduce cortisol levels in your brain, which may help you feel better about yourself.
  4. Emotional bonding: Lip kissing induces the release of the hormone oxytocin, which has been linked to causing feelings of affection and attachment with other people. It can help nurture healthy long-term relationships.
  5. Lowered blood pressure: Kissing can increase your heart rate, which can in turn dilate your blood vessels and improve blood flow. This causes a decrease in your blood pressure.
  6. Relief from headache: Dilation of your blood vessels can help offer relief from stress-related headache.
  7. Relief from cramps: Increased blood flow and lowered stress may offer relief from period cramps and other menstrual cycle symptoms.
  8. Reduced blood cholesterol: According to a 2009 study published in the Western Journal of Communication, regular kissing may be associated with lowered blood cholesterol levels.
  9. Increased immunity: The exchange of saliva with your partner exposes you to new germs that could help strengthen your immune system.
  10. Reduced allergic response: Because stress can aggravate allergic reactions, kissing may help reduce allergic reactions by reducing stress.
  11. Calorie burn: Depending on how ardently you kiss, lip kissing may even burn calories.
  12. Healthier mouth: Lip kissing stimulates the secretion of saliva, which helps combat microbes that cause infections in the mouth.
  13. Face workout: Lip kissing requires the use of 24 facial muscles and can act as a good face workout, helping tighten your facial muscles.
  14. Glowing skin: Lip kissing improves blood flow to your skin. Increased blood flow not only makes you blush but also can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which are skin-nourishing proteins.
  15. Compatibility assessment: Kissing can help you determine physical compatibility with a potential partner.
  16. Increased sex drive: Lip kissing is an important part of foreplay, which can increase arousal and make sex a more rewarding experience. 

Can lip kissing transmit infection?

While kissing offers some health benefits, exchanging saliva with someone can also spread diseases such as:

  • Colds: You can catch a cold either from airborne droplets or by direct contact with secretions from the infected person’s nose and throat.
  • Glandular fever: Also known as the kissing disease or infectious mononucleosis, glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. The virus spreads through saliva, and infection occurs through contact, including lip kisses.
  • Herpes infection: Herpes blisters can cause transmission of the virus, which can spread to others even after the blisters have healed.
  • Warts: Warts in the mouth can spread through kissing, especially if there is a recent injury in the mouth.

How to prevent getting sick with kissing

If you want to lip kiss but want to avoid infections, here are a few tips to follow:

  • Avoid kissing when you or another person is sick with a fever or cold.
  • Avoid kissing anyone when you or they have an active problematic area such as having cold sore, warts, or ulcers around the lips or mouth.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing teeth daily.
  • Stay up to date on your vaccinations. Vaccines can prevent some infections such as the flu and hepatitis B infection.

QUESTION

Which chemical is known simply as the "hormone of love?" See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 2/2/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Heymann, D. L. (ed.) (2004), Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 18th edition, American Public Health Association, Washington.

Floyd K, Boren JP, Hannawa AF, et al. Kissing in marital and cohabiting relationships: Effects on blood lipids, stress, and relationship satisfaction. Western Journal of Communication. 2009 May 5;73(2):113-133.

Kimata H. Kissing reduces allergic skin wheal responses and plasma neurotrophin levels. Physiol Behav. 2003 Nov;80(2-3):395-398. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.09.004. PMID: 14637240.