Originally published by the thelist:
Crazy facts about kissing you never knew
For most couple or relationship, the initial spark and goose feelings they had in the earlier stages of the relationship, seemingly disappear.Hopefully, you may find reasons to keep kissing your spouse possibly years after saying i do.
The importance of kissing in relationships is well-documented. In fact, research shows that
59 percent of men and 66 percent of women have found themselves less attracted to a potential partner after a bad first kiss; further, Butler University’s John
Bohannon surveyed 500 people and found that most people can remember up to 90 percent of the details of a first romantic kiss. That’s a lot of pressure during the early days of courtship, no?
Whether you refer to it as smooching, snogging, tonsil hockey, or making out, here are some crazy facts about kissing you likely never knew, from the surprising health benefits of locking lips to details on the first-ever kiss in film history.
1) Kissing can boost your immune system
According to a study from the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, a 10-second kiss transfers as many as 80 million bacteria between you and your partner. If the idea makes you want to run to the bathroom to brush your teeth, hold on a moment.
Asit turns out, germ exposure can provide a healthy boost to your immune system.
“Swapping spit means swapping germs, and that is nature’s natural form of vaccination.“Being exposed to others’ germs causes your body to make antibodies against those germs, which can in turn lead to immunity and prevent illness.”
Dr. Yael Varnado, founder of Get Checked 4 Life (a nonprofit organization that provides access to health services for at-risk communities) told Match.com.
CAVEAT: Make sure your partner isn’t already sick before you pucker up.
2) Kissing can improve your dental health
Dr. Sivan Finkel, who specializes in aesthetic and general dentistry at the Dental Parlour in New York City, told me that
increased saliva production generated by kissing can be a boon to your oral health. “Kissing stimulates our salivary glands, and saliva helps buffer the acidity of the oral environment,”
Finkel said. “Dental decay is caused by acidic by-products formed when oral bacteria break down carbohydrates. Saliva is relatively basic, so an increase in saliva helps our teeth resist this acidic attack and re-mineralize.”
However, Finkel cautioned against
locking lips with anyone who doesn’t brush or floss their teeth as often as they should.
The double-edged sword is that
harmful, cavity-causing bacteria are also transferred via kissing, as are some of the bacteria responsible for gum disease,”
So if the person you are kissing has poor oral hygiene — bad breath should be a warning sign! — beware.”
3)Kissing floods your brain with feel-good chemicals
The main benefit of kissing to your physical health and wellness is the release of oxytocin and dopamine, said Kaity Rodriguez, a licensed clinical social worker based in New Jersey.
“Oxytocin is the bonding hormone that is also released when mothers nurse their babies, during sex, and even cuddling,”It makes you feel closer [and] more intimately attached to the individual.”Rodriguez said
Dopamine, on the other hand, is the “feel-good hormone,” which helps you experience pleasure and makes you want more, Rodriguez said.
Dopamine is responsible for regulating mood, behavior, sleep, and cognition, while also helping with decision-making and creativity.
4)Kissing can prolong men’s lives and fatten their paychecks
All the health benefits of kissing sound fine and dandy, but do they result in anything tangible when it comes to actual lifespan? As it turns out, the answer is yes — but there’s a catch.A group of German physicians and psychologists led by Dr. Arthur Szabo found that
men who kissed their girlfriends or wives every morning live an average of five years longer than those who don’t.
Further, the team’s research determined that men who got a daily morning smooch miss less work due to illness; have a lower chance of experiencing a car accident on the way to work; and earn 20-30 percent more money every month. At the very least, those wives and girlfriends should definitely get a cut of that added wealth, don’t you think?
5)Kissing can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol
Andréa Demirjian, author of Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, told CNN that
“kissing passionately gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that helps lower your blood pressure.It dilates your blood vessels, Blood is flowing in a good, solid fashion and getting to all your vital organs.” Said Demirjian
Research has also shown that
kissing reduces cortisol, a hormone linked to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Though diet and exercise are touted as the best means of combating such conditions, it certainly doesn’t hurt to add a bit of kissing to your healthy regimen.
6)Kissing can relieve stress
According to the American Institute of Stress, roughly three-quarters of Americans experience physical and psychological symptoms caused by stress. One-third even feel like they’re living with “extreme stress.” Jeannie Assimos, chief of advice at eHarmony, said such chronic stress can increase your cortisol levels.
To this end, researchers have been interested in whether interpersonal behaviors, such as kissing, may have benefits to help alleviate problems of stress that many of us face.
Assimos told me. She referenced a 2009 study in which half of 52 participants all of whom were married or living with partners — were instructed to “kiss each other more often and for longer periods of time than you typically do right now.” The other participants weren’t given any special instructions.
After six weeks, the results showed that those who kissed their partners more had lower stress, a decrease in cholesterol, and higher relationship satisfaction,” Assimos said
. [The] researchers explained that exchanging affectionate communication with your partner can help produce calm and reassuring feelings. Combined with other research, this literature shows that touch and physical affection in general can help decrease responses to stressful situations. So
the next time you are feeling stressed out, try kissing your partner … it may help to improve your health as well as your relationship.”
7)Kissing uses a surprising number of muscles
In addition to burning up to 26 calories per minute — a rate reserved for the most passionate of smooching — kissing can involve upwards of 30 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles, according to the American Journal of Medicine blog.
Further, kissing can help smooth lines and wrinkles, tighten muscles in your neck and jaw, and boost circulation to your face, which can help you achieve that sought-after glow.
It’s certainly a good excuse to engage in regular make-out sessions, even as we age.
8)Kissing can help you find ‘the one’
Great kissing is undoubtedly an important part of a relationship, but once again, science says
locking lips does a lot more than indicate sexual compatibility — it can let us know when we’ve found someone suitable for a long-term partnership.
Based on statistical analysis of 40,000 people on dating website Chemistry.com along with other scientists’ research, Rutgers University biological anthropologist Helen Fisher concluded that
people are drawn to others with “particular biological profiles.Kissing might be one way to assess someone’s profile, thanks to the exchange of saliva that occurs during the act.
Fisher said at an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. As unsexy as it sounds,
the hormones present in spit can subconsciously tell us whether someone is a good mate.
There’s evidence that saliva has testosterone in it, and there’s also evidence that men like sloppier kisses with more open mouth,” Fisher said.
That suggests to me that they are unconsciously trying to transfer testosterone to trigger the sex drive in women.”