Kissing is something we all do. We kiss hello and goodbye, we kiss our parents and our siblings in familial love, and then one day we get our first real kiss ... and seem to prefer romantic kisses with your special someone over any sort of kiss just to say hello.
However, in a mere 10 second kiss, as much as 80 million bacteria can be transferred between two people. That's an extremely short time to exchange a disease - especially since you're probably kissing more than once, right?
I'm sure the last thing you want to think about when you're kissing someone is the amount of bacteria you're exchanging, let alone the diseases you might be sharing, but it's important to know. The next time you lean in for a kiss, maybe consider these five terrible diseases you can get from a smooch.
Known to most as just "mono" this is a disease that is extremely contagious. It's prevalent among people ages 15-30 and is spread mainly through saliva (easily caught by kissing or sharing a drink or food with someone with mono).
Symptoms include extreme fatigue, fever, head and body aches and other flu-like symptoms. Immediately see your doctor if you're experiencing any of those symptoms so you can receive proper treatment.
2. Herpes simplex
This is a virus that you've most likely had before - If you've had a cold sore, you've had herpes simplex. Sores on your face around the mouth or a tingling, itching or burning sensation, are all symptoms of herpes simplex. The sores can appear anywhere on the skin, but are most common around the mouth area. These sores can last for weeks.
Also known as CMV, you can get this silent virus without showing any symptoms. Worst of all, once you have it, you have it for life. It's contracted through exchange of saliva (and other bodily fluids). If you're healthy, you mostly don't need treatment. But if you experience symptoms of fatigue, a sore throat and have swollen glands, your immune system may be weakened and visiting a doctor to attain necessary medication will help you to get better.
You know this one as "strep throat." Strep and mono are easily mistaken for each other because the symptoms are similar, which includes a sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes and sometimes even a rash. It's spread through saliva but is easily contagious through coughing or sneezing. Strep is more common in children, but is not uncommon for adults to catch, especially because it's so easily spread. If you experience any of the above symptoms, see a doctor to receive prescribed medication.
Gingivitis is an extremely common form of gum disease brought on by poor oral hygiene but can also be transmitted through the exchanging of bacteria. Gingivitis can cause sores on your gums, making them bleed (it also makes kissing no fun at all). The best way to prevent getting gingivitis is to keep good care of your mouth! Brush your teeth, use mouthwash and floss often. However you can be at greater risk if you have poor nutrition, are pregnant, experiencing hormonal changes or are of an older age.
Still want to kiss someone after all of that? Despite all the risks and diseases you could get from kissing, it's still pretty fun and really exciting. Just make sure you're making the necessary precautions so you can prevent these five terrible diseases.
Callie has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communication and when she isn’t writing, she’s reading. Some of her favorite things include Harry Potter, all things Disney, road trips, and telling stories.