There’s nothing more romantic than sharing a kiss with someone you love. There’s also possibly nothing more exciting than a first kiss with someone you’re falling for. But even though kissing seems pretty great all around, there can be some negatives to it — including its ability to pass infections.
We’re not suggesting you stop puckering up, though! Instead, read on for a few common infections that can be passed through kissing and what symptoms to look out for so you can avoid anything unwanted.
Also known as the kissing disease, mono is usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and can be passed on to others through kissing, coughing, and sharing glasses and utensils.
If you’ve ever had mono, you already know that it comes with a host of symptoms including fever, swelling around the lymph glands, fatigue, loss of appetite, and sore throat. While mono is not considered a serious illness, the symptoms tend to occur more frequently in teens, and anyone who thinks they may be experiencing the symptoms should see their doctor ASAP.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that can also be spread through kissing if your partner is experiencing open sores or a skin rash. The best way to avoid contracting this STD is to use protection and to avoid sexual contact with anyone who may be experiencing the symptoms.
Herpes Simplex Virus
There are two types of herpes simplex viruses: Herpes simplex type 1 (or HSV-1), which is quite common and usually appears as occasional cold sores around the mouth, and is not an STD; and herpes simplex type 2 (or HSV-2), which most often appears as sores on or near the sex organs, which is an STD.
If you’re dealing with HSV-1 (and 50 to 80 percent of American adults are), Abreva can help knock out your cold sore in as little as two and a half1 days when used at the first sign.
Kissing is a sweet way to show affection, and by no means should you be afraid of kissing the one you love (or like).) Like any disease, the more educated you are about the signs and symptoms of these infections, the more confident you can feel when it comes to your next smooch session.
You’ve probably only heard the word “gingivitis” at your dentist’s office when being warned about the dangers of not brushing or flossing enough, but gingivitis can occasionally be passed through kissing. People with gum disease can pass the bacteria that causes gingivitis through saliva.
Keeping your own oral health in tip-top shape by brushing twice a day and flossing is the first step to avoiding infection from someone else’s gingivitis bacteria. Also, be aware of the warning signs of gingivitis (red, swollen, or bleeding gums or bad breath).
1 Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2.5 days