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17 Things Kissing Does to You That You Need to Know

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17 Things Kissing Does to You
We all enjoy a really good kiss, but did you know that locking lips with someone makes you live longer, helps prevent tooth decay and burns calories?

Apart from the obvious bacteria swapping and reducing stress levels, it turns out there is plenty more to know about a good snog with your partner, lover, or whoever else you happen to be swapping saliva with.

Author David Wolfe has produced a video on the 11 things you never knew about kissing, and these are the surprising facts;

1. It increases life expectancy
Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than men who don’t.

2. It prevents tooth decay
Kissing increases the mouth’s production of saliva, which helps to clean the mouth and prevent tooth decay.

3. We swap more than just germs
We swap an average of 9ml of water, 0.7mg of protein, 0.18mg of organic compounds, 0.71mg of different fats and 0.45mg of sodium chloride when we lock lips.

4. But there are still A LOT of germs involved
One millilitre of saliva contains about 100,000,000 bacteria.

5. It Actually Burns Calories; get kissing, ladies
Couples can burn anywhere between 2 and 26 calories per minute while kissing and can use up to 30 muscles.

6. We do a lot of it
The average person will spend an estimated 20,160 minutes of their lifetime kissing. That’s 336 hours, or 14 whole days.

7. Some more than others, it seems
The longest kiss ever recorded was 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds – nearly two and a half days.

8. Our brains know how to find our lovers lips
 Sixty-six per cent of people close their eyes during a kiss. Our brains have special neurons that help us to locate each other’s lips in the dark.

9.    It can stop us falling ill
There are some evidence, from past studies, which suggest that kissing provides us a means of protecting ourselves from certain viruses.

10. It’s more than just fun; it’s stress relieving
 Holding hands and kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, thereby lowering blood pressure and optimising immune response.
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17 Things Kissing Does to You
11. There’s a scientific reason for why we want more
When you kiss someone for the first time you get a spike in dopamine, which makes you crave more.

12. Kissing is good for your teeth; as long as the two of you are        
fairly hygienic
According to Sivan Finkel, a cosmetic dentist in New York City, kissing leads to increased saliva production, which helps our teeth rid themselves of harmful bacteria. “The extra saliva helps remineralize teeth and protect them from acid attacks,” he says.

Even better, some experts believe that saliva's mineral ions can promote the repair of small lesions in tooth enamel—but again, oral hygiene is key. “Before you swap [spit], check their breath, and if they pass the sniff test, then kiss away,” Dr. Finkel says.

13. Kissing can give your immune system a boost
More than 700 types of bacteria have been found in the human mouth, but no two people have the exact same makeup of oral germs, so exchanging saliva with someone can introduce new “foreign” bacteria into your body, which isn't a bad thing.

“Trillions of microorganisms live on or inside us, and collectively they're known as the microbiome,” says Shilpa Ravella, M.D., a gastroenterologist and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Ravella points to a recent Dutch study that found that when we kiss for more than 10 seconds, about 80 million bacteria are transferred between us and our partner, which can introduce new and sometimes helpful bacteria into our mouths. “Many studies have shown that having a variety of bacterial species correlates with good health. A diverse microbiome can help regulate the immune system and protect against harmful germs.”

We’ll take that over a booster shot any day.

14. Kissing can lower anxiety
From a chemical standpoint, one of the primary health benefits of kissing is its ability to release the hormone oxytocin (known as the love hormone), according to Stephanie Hartselle, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University, who cites its ability to induce a sense of calm, relaxation, and bonding in humans. The hormone, which is also released during foreplay and orgasm, “has been shown to be as powerful as meditation and many anti-anxiety medications in producing a feeling of peace and contentment,” Dr. Hartselle says.

Research has also shown that kissing reduces the chemical cortisol, which is associated with stress.

15. Kissing can help lower blood pressure
According to Ryan Neinstein, M.D., a plastic surgeon in New York City, our lips are made up of blood vessels, which become dilated during kissing. “The blood is then directed toward the face and away from the rest of the body," he says, "so the demand on the heart goes down, resulting in lower blood pressure."

Also, remember that fact about cortisol? When your cortisol level is lower, so is your blood pressure. "The more you kiss, the more your heart races, and the more your blood flows, ultimately reducing high blood pressure,” Dr. Neinstein says.

16. Kissing can help delay signs of aging
Another reason to kiss as much as possible: The increased blood flow to your face can stimulate collagen production and contribute to anti-aging. "The higher blood flow increases the number of small blood vessels helping to nourish the machinery of the skin,” Dr. Neinstein says. It also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which is the substance “that beautiful skin is made of.”

“In order to move your lips, your whole face has to get involved, which increases elasticity," Dr. Neinstein says. "Have you seen face yoga or facercises? There are yogis, estheticians, and dermatologists training women to do exercises for their face to stimulate collagen and lessen the need for a face-lift. Passionate kissing can lead to firming the face, especially its bottom half.”

17. It increases your sex drive
This one may seem obvious, but Rachel Abrams, M.D., an integrative health expert and author, points out that testosterone—the hormone responsible for sex drive in both women and men—is released into saliva during prolonged kissing.

“In a study, males were more likely than females to initiate open-mouth kissing and kissing with tongue contact, and male saliva contains measurable amounts of the sex hormone testosterone, which can affect libido,” Dr. Abrams says. “Testosterone is also an antidepressant, and it helps with mental focus.”

Another fun fact: Women who kiss other women also exchange testosterone, since we’ve got it too. So whether your partner is male or female, you're sharing hormones and pheromones.

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