‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings and close encounters with friends and family. Before you stand under the mistletoe this Christmas, we want you to think about how kissing affects your oral health. There’s a great article from WorlDental.org that explores this subject.
The article notes that while kissing has some benefits, including the act of cleaning out your saliva, it also helps transmit a small number of disease-causing bacteria. For example, colds and mononucleosis can be spread by kissing. So can cold sores and chickenpox. And did you know that periodontal disease can be transmitted through saliva?
Of course, practicing good oral hygiene will lessen these risks. And you don’t have to let these potential dangers ruin your kissing opportunities. The article suggests you try to:
- Avoid kissing when you or the other person is sick.
- Avoid kissing anyone on the lips when you, or they, have an active cold sore, warts or ulcers around the lips or in the mouth.
- Cough and sneeze into a hanky if you have a cold.
- See your doctor about immunizations. Vaccines are available to prevent some infectious diseases, such as chickenpox, hepatitis B and group C meningococcal infection.