The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

To kiss or not to kiss

November 9, 2016

No harm in just a kiss, right? Yes and no. The sensual feeling unleashed when two people lock lips does not fully amount to what happens inside the body and later transmits into the partner’s body.

The wrong kiss from the wrong person can lead to an influx of bad bacteria. The Academy of General Dentistry accounts for 500 different viruses and germs spread from an ill to healthy mouth. Transferable diseases through kissing entail mononucleosis (mono), cold sores, scabies, herpes, gum disease and cavities. Mono comes from the Epstein-Barr virus and in the worst cases lead to a ruptured spleen, cold sores create contagious blisters around the mouth and scabies develop when mites burrow underneath the skin which lead to intense irritation. An exception would be the cavity.

Kissing transfers saliva and cleanses the teeth by removing plaque, but can form cavities when negative bacteria enter the unaffected person. The previous examples reiterate consequences of exchanging a carefree kiss with your date who recovers from a cold. To prevent the serious damage, attend regular dentist appointments and do not hesitate to ask your boyfriend or girlfriend if they feel under the weather.

In those enchanted ten seconds of smooching, eighty million bacteria transfer between partners, accordingShaping the oral microbiota through intimate kissing,” from open access journal “Microbiome.” Exposure to these millions of bacteria known as oral microbiota can benefit the body by exposing the immune system to a more diversified spectrum of bacteria as relationships begin and emotions arise, like those senior Dominique Edwards has for her boyfriend Nicholas Pereda.

“He’s a really good listener …[and] advisor…he’s one of those people that I can come to to talk to about anything,” Edwards said.

Only this does not fully explain why she fell in love with him. People assume they fall in love because of brains or beauty. In actuality the immune system, the major histocompatibility complex or MHC genes, provide our natural scent.

“Right before you go into kiss, you guys don’t say anything. You have this nonverbal connection,” Edwards said. “It’s this silent electricity.”

The British Council’s Emer Maguire states that women more commonly prefer their spouse to have different MHC genes. Opposing MHC genes gravitate toward each other, which can formulate a varied selection of genes in each person. This in return increases the ability to fight off disease, burn calories (up to 16 calories per kiss), lowers blood pressure, reduce headache pain and cramp pain for transferring these millions of blessed bacteria according to Charles River Dental.

A study completed by Lafayette College of Pennsylvania found that stress hormone cortisol levels dropped in the duration of an intimate kiss. As the heart beats faster, blood vessels relax, allowing blood to flow easily and release tension.

“It’s complete focus,” junior Matthew Buttafuoco said. “All you’re worried about at that point is what you’re doing.”

  The heart rises in the moment, cheeks flush with red and the pupils widen to the point that it feels uncomfortable to open the eyes.This overwhelming emotion results from the electric impulses that leap from the brain, lips, tongue and skin while lovebirds kiss. The close contact involves five out of twelve nerves in the brain, which use all of the senses to create a high.

“If you get really into it, everything around you doesn’t exist anymore,” junior Samantha Ouertani said. “You felt like you were somewhere else.”

In a literal sense, the feeling of relaxation forms because of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. While dopamine builds feelings of euphoria, oxytocin builds bonds and serotonin turns up the volume. Stress levels fall, blood pressure drops and the lip-smacking continues.

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