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Kissing Bacteria: Can Kissing Make You Sick?

Viruses and bacteria in the blood or saliva of a person may be transmitted to another person through kissing.

How is the disease communicated?

Diseases can be transmitted from one person to another in several ways such as:

Airborne Spread

A few infected particles from the throat and nose can linger in the air for longer period of time due to their very small size. These are referred to as droplet nuclei and can be inhaled straight into the lungs.

Droplet Spread

Affected droplets from the throat and nose can typically travel around a distance of one meter prior they drop onto a surface. Infection emerges when a person comes into contact with an infected object or surface or when the contaminated droplet is inhaled.

Contact Spread

A few ailments are communicated directly from one person to another, for instance, during kissing or when indirectly touching an infected object or surface.

Below is the list of the viruses that can be communicated during kissing:

Glandular Fever

This is the general term for a viral infection known as infectious mononucleosis which is mainly caused by the virus called Epstein-Barr. Furthermore, the virus is transmitted through saliva and infection emerges through contact.


These are also referred to as upper respiratory tract infections. Several various viruses can cause a typical cold. In connection to this, colds are perceived to be communicated through direct contact with the virus. So, one could catch a cold from direct contact with mucous and fluids (also called secretions) or airborne droplets from the infected person’s throat and nose.


Warts that are located in the mouth can be transmitted by kissing, especially of current trauma.

Hepatitis B

A person is more prone to be infected with Hepatitis B if open sores in or around the mouth area are present.

Herpes infection

This virus can be spread through direct contact and when blisters are forming or when they have erupted.

What should one do to prevent infection while kissing?

There are several things one can do to minimize the risk of catching or passing an infection while kissing his/her partner.

Consider the following:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Avoid kissing when sick or when your partner is ill.
  • Refrain from kissing anyone on the lips if they have warts, active cold sores or ulcers around the mouth or lip area.
  • It is advisable to visit your doctor and discuss vaccinations. Vaccinations are available to prevent some infectious ailments like group C meningococcal infection, hepatitis B as well as chickenpox.

While it is a fact that the human mouth contains more bacteria; it does not necessarily mean that a person must stop from smooching just because of the threat of these germs. There is no need to abstain from kissing altogether.

What’s important is being more careful when kissing someone especially when there is a possibility of spreading viruses like when either party is sick or is already infected with certain diseases. It is certainly very imperative to consider the aforementioned tips for your safety and those of your loved one.

Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

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