Do I swap bacteria when I kiss?
We know that our mouths are home to billions of bacteria – so what happens when we kiss, and do we increase or decrease our bacteria levels? Read on for the full lowdown.
We like to provide a calm, laidback ambience in the MyDental surgery, and our patients tell us that listening to live radio or soft music tends to soothe them while in the dentist’s chair.
One of the favourite programmes we play is the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk, and we were fascinated today to hear Sean talk to the curator of the Micropia Museum in Amsterdam.
Micropia is the world's first museum dedicated to microbes and micro-organisms, and what really caught our attention is that the Museum also features a Kiss-o-meter - which counts the number of microbes transferred from person to person during a kiss.
The more often you kiss each other intimately, according to research conducted by the Museum, the more similar the collections of bacteria in your saliva become with that of your kissing partner.
The research claims that French kissing is a prime example of being exposed to a huge numer of bateria in a sort time – up to 80 million in as little as ten seconds, in fact.
The topic resonated with us in a special way, as one of our patients at that very moment was enquiring about root canal treatment cost and this had led to a conversation about the harmful effect of SOME bacteria in the mouth and how a root canal might be necessary if bad bacteria were left unchecked.
The research on oral bacteria is published in the scientific open access journal, Microbiome, and involved examining the effects of ‘intimate kissing’ on the oral microbiota.
To summarise the conclusions of the reserch, samples of oral flora from the tongues of the kissing couple were far more similar to each other than samples taken from random people. In other words, your bacteria start to converge in their makeup, although this is obviously a very slow process.
The research also stated that the mouth alone is home to 700 different kinds of bacteria. Whether this will put you off kissing – or encourage you to get up close and personal with your partner – we can't be sure.
But at least you’ll have something to talk about afterwards!
And by the way, when it comes to root canal cost Ireland scores very well for both price and quality, and here at MyDental, we can comfortably compete with supposedly cheap overseas treatment, which can become very expensive when you add up all the travel and inconvenience costs.
The complete article from Microbiome about the bacteria research can be found at http://www.microbiomejournal.com/content/2/1/41