What Exactly Happens When We Kiss?

November 18, 2014


A French kiss is the ultimate gesture of affection – it doesn’t get more intimate than that. It involves emotions, chemistry, sexual attraction, and according to scientists from the Netherlands, bacteria.

A Big, Scary Number

Dutch scientists have discovered that people can transfer over 80 million bacteria to one another in one 10-second kiss.

The study involved 21 different couples which were asked to complete a survey about their kissing habits.

As it turns out, that those who kiss an average of nine times a day have more potential to share their germs through saliva.

“French kissing is a great example of exposure to a gigantic number of bacteria in a short time,” Professor Remco Kort, who led the research, told the BBC.

“But only some bacteria transferred from a kiss seemed to take hold on the tongue. Further research should look at the properties of the bacteria and the tongue that contribute to this sticking power.”

More Healthy Than We Know

Don’t get grossed-out yet. A team from the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research in collaboration with the Micropia museum in Amsterdam tested what exactly happens when a couple kisses with the help of a probiotic drink.

And they found out that swapping bacteria is actually not as bad as it seems. In fact, this can be healthy, because it can help us build out immune system by forcing us to produce more anti-bodies and bolster our defenses even further.