What are the STDs you can get from kissing?

Kissing is one of the most common signs of affection that exists in almost every culture. It can vary from a quick peck on the cheek to a long passionate smooch. However, kissing on the lips is always preserved for people in intimate relationships.

Kissing is always seen as a social pleasure, the perfect end to a date, and a way of bonding with our loved ones. Families, friends, children, and loved ones kiss to show love, attraction, affection, and kissing is more than these in some cultures.

As everything else with benefits must have its shortcomings, this lovely act of colliding lips and tongue can lead to serious health concerns.

In this article, we will shed some light on kissing to help you understand what it entails and enlighten you on which STDs you can get from kissing.

What is a kiss?

A kiss is a touch or collision of one's lips on another person or an object. Cultural relations to kissing differ widely.

Depending on the context and culture, kissing can express the feelings of love, romance, sexual attraction, affection, sexual activity, respect, greeting, friendship, and good luck.

In some instances, kissing is a custom, formal or allusive gesture showing devotion, respect, or communion.

What happens when we kiss?

A kiss is an enthralling combination of excitement, anatomy, and feelings. It starts with tilting the head, mostly to the right side. Facial muscles such as Zygomaticus and Orbicularis Oris coordinates a complex movement between lips, cheeks, or, if you prefer, the tongue and the jaw.

A charge of hormones and sensory reports fills the brain and the body leading to the heart beating faster.

Why does kissing feel so good?

With all parts of the body involved, lips are the center of the kissing pleasure concept. According to Gray's anatomy (the real anatomy text), lips are referred to as "the two fleshy folds," though lips are more than the two fleshy folds. They are receptive, flexible, and very sensitive.

According to the anatomy of the lips- the thin layer of skin that makes the outside of the lips and extending to the mouth's internal lining contains mucous membrane, small muscles, and many nerves, which makes the kiss feeling awesome.

It also helps in the production of endorphin-the hormone, which activates good feelings and a natural painkiller to the body.

Why do people kiss?

It is estimated that 90% of humankind is involved in kissing through different way, form, or shape. A lot of people are kissing, but the reason is not clear why people kiss.

There are some theories that argue that modern-day kissing is maternal; it evolved from mothers. It is believed that at one time, mothers fed their babies the same way as birds.

The food was chewed first and then given to the babies through the mouth. The contact between the mouths is said to have evolved to comfort when there was less food and turned to be comfortable.

The normal head tilts to the right side before a kiss could be linked to how most infants turned their heads to the right when they are breastfeeding.

In trying to know why we kiss, the research posted in the journal evolutionary psychology found out that men and women use kisses for various reasons.

Women kiss mostly as a way of gauging the status of the relationship and to confirm the viability of the potential mate, while men see kissing as a way to an end-the end being sexual arousal and intercourse.

Consequences of kissing.

A coin has two sides, so they say, similarly, kissing has both the negative consequences and the positive ones (the benefits). It is better to understand both consequences in detail, so let us start with the good news.

The benefits of kissing

This simple act of colliding lips and tongues has many advantages under the surface than meets the eye. Forget about which STDs you can get from kissing first, here are some of the health benefits of kissing backed by science.

Have a look.

  • Kissing boosts immunity.

A recent study posted on the journal medical hypotheses found that kissing enhances women's immunity system against Cytomegalovirus.

Cytomegalovirus or CMV is a virus in the same family as herpesvirus contracted through contact with an infected person's body fluids such as blood, saliva, urine, breast milk, and congenital infections.

This virus can lead to child blindness and some birth problems if a mother is a carrier during pregnancy. However, the virus does not cause harm in adults, and it is believed that kissing is a way to transfer bugs, which boosts body defense mechanisms.

  • Kissing helps in picking the right partner.

Most anthropologists have described kissing as a "mate assessment tool" over and over again. Most of the outer layer of the lips are tuned to pick the feelings around the lips, tongue, cheeks, and nose.

Of the twelve cranial nerves, there are five which are devoted to collecting data from the mouth. They are built to collect the most sensitive sensations- the intricate smells, touch, tastes, and temperature.

Thus, when kissing somebody, you can hear them, see and even feel them. Therefore, kissing is not just placing your lips on one another's'; it is a sincere advert of yourself, what you can give, and what you want.

Image Alt tag: STDs you can get from kissing

In a nutshell, kissing can be a biological way of finding who you are naturally genetically compatible with.

According to Professor Gordon G Gallup Jr., an evolutionary professor at the State University of New York, a complex-wired system assesses genetic compatibility and the reproductive status during kissing.

This, therefore, implies that whatever transpires on the first kiss can make or break a proposition to the future mate.

  • Kissing keeps facial muscles strong.

Naturally, strong abs or thighs free from cellulite appear first on your tone up list, though you should not overlook the workout your mouth does during kissing. Scientists say that 30 facial muscles are used during the kissing session, and this helps in keeping your cheeks healthy.

It also makes you look younger as you will have a fair toned face, hence kissing is a natural anti-aging agent.

  • It relieves stress and anxiety while boosting your self-esteem.

Kissing and other passionate practices such as hugging and saying "I love you" influence biological processes relevant to stress management by lowering the cortisol level.

Speaking of stress management, we refer to how well you deal with stress and anxiety. There is no better way of calming you than having a nice passionate kiss.

When you kiss, there is a production of Oxytocin, which helps in reducing anxiety and boost relaxation and wellness.

By reducing the cortisol levels, kissing is a potential way of improving the feeling of self-worth and self-confidence.

According to a 2016 research study, it was found that most people who are unhappy with their physical appearance had higher levels of cortisol. Though a lot more studies are required, experiencing a short-term reduction in cortisol anytime you kiss is an excellent way to pass the time.

  • Kissing lowers cholesterol levels and reduces allergy symptoms.

The fact that kissing and other affectionate practices reduce stress is rational to predict that it can also lead to improvements in physiological limits aggravated by stress, like cholesterol.

Cholesterol has a lot of important physiological roles, which include the production of bile, maintenance of fluidity, and helps in the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins.

Additionally, it is mostly responsible for releasing steroid hormones like Aldosterone, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.

Production of these steroid hormones helps develop sexual characteristics, control metabolism, immune functions, and the ability to resist illness and injuries.

Furthermore, allergic responses can be increased by stress. And because kissing lowers stress levels by sending the feel-good hormones to the brain and minimizing cortisol production, it is logical to relate kissing to a reduction in allergy symptoms.

  • It might improve relationship satisfaction.

Romantic kissing and other forms of passionate body contact are linked to strengthening the feeling of connection to the person you are kissing, enhancing satisfaction in the relationship between partners.

Regular kissing among romantic partners is always connected to the couple's supposed feelings about the value of a relationship. For instance, the more kissing, the more they become happy, unlike the case of more sex.

  • Kissing naturally relaxes you.

Many scientific studies say that kissing boosts the oxytocin levels- the body's natural relaxing hormone, and increased endorphins; the body's feel-good hormones.

These two body chemicals combined give the whole body a calming feeling, which is good for a person's stable well-being.

Kissing is also attributed to an increase in dopamine secretion, which helps in feelings of strong romantic attachments.

Adverse effects of kissing

After giving you some of the scientifically-backed benefits of kissing that you may not have known, let's see how the other side of kissing that you may only want to know, but you never wished to exist in this lovely act of affection.

Though kissing is one of the most exciting experiences in a relationship, you should be cautious if you kiss someone for the first time.

For similar reasons, you would not share a spoon with a stranger or maybe lick your money card. Putting your tongue into somebody's mouth may expose your body to disasters that can make you regret kissing that person.

Below we will discuss in detail, which STDs you can  get from kissing while also shedding light on others, which are less likely to be transferred through kissing but can be contracted orally.

The sexually transmitted disease you can contract through kissing.

There are only specific, sexually transmitted diseases that can be transferred through kissing. The most common ones include (CMV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV).

  • Herpes.

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a virus known as the herpes simplex virus. Contact with an infected person either through sexual or infected areas such as mouth with a sore or saliva is the primary cause of this infection.

It causes pain, sores, and itching in your genital area and mouth. There may not be signs and symptoms of herpes, but you can be contagious even if you don't show visible sores.

This infection has no cure, but some medications can minimize the symptoms and the risk of infecting others.

As one of the STDs you can get from kissing, herpes exists in two different types.

  • The HSV-1

Also referred to as oral herpes, this type of HSV is commonly spread through kissing. It is very common: an estimated 67% of people below 50 have this virus in their body, according to the world health organization.

The most pronounced symptom is a tiny white or red blister in your genital area or on your mouth. During an outbreak, it may discharge or bleeding.

Image Alt tag: STDs you can get from kissing.

Kissing or touching a person with a cold sore can transmit the viral infection to you even without eminent symptoms.

HSV-1 can also be transmitted by sharing saliva and other items such as cups that have been in contact with an infected person's mouth. HSV-1 can infect your genitals, and it is also spread via vaginal, oral, or anal sex.

  • The HSV-2.

Referred also as genital herpes, this type of HSV is mostly transferred through sexual contact with an infected person-either through anal, genital or oral sex. However, mouth to mouth transmission is still possible with HSV-2.

The virus dies very quickly when it is outside the body. Hence it is almost impossible to contract the virus by contacting objects like toilets, clothes, towels, or any other item used by an infected person.

The two forms of HSV has no known cure, but prompt medications can ease the symptoms and reduce the infection. They share similar symptoms, which may include;

  • Presence of small red bumps or tiny white blisters appearing after the first few days to few weeks after infection.
  • Itching or pain may be experienced around the genital area until it clears away.
  • Ulcers; form when the bumps or blisters break and bleed. Ulcers in the genital can cause difficulty in urinating.
  • Scabs: as ulcers heal, the skin will crust and form scabs.

The best way of preventing the contraction of herpes includes correct us of condom and dental dams when having vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Having an open talk with your doctor about medications also is a step toward preventing the infection. Therefore, to be sure you are free of these STIs, conduct oral STD test.

  • Cytomegalovirus.

Cytomegalovirus is a common viral infection that is spread by kissing a person whose saliva is infected. It can also be spread through other body fluids such as blood, urine, breast milk, and semen.

A lot of people do not know they have CMV because it may not be showing symptoms. Being that it stays dormant in the body, it is a potential cause of health complications during pregnancy and people with weak immune systems.

Also referred to as HCMV, human herpes virus-5(HHV-5), or CMV, Cytomegalovirus is the most common virus transmitted to developing fetus.

Symptoms depend on the types of CMV, and they include,

  • Acquired CMV.

Generally, people with acquired CMV do not have notable symptoms, but they may include the following if the symptoms occur.

Night sweats.


Swollen glands

Joints and muscle pains.

Low appetite and loss of weight.

The symptoms will always go away in two weeks.

  • Recurring CMV.

The symptoms of a recurring CMV may vary depending on the organ affected by the virus. The most probable areas to be affected are the eyes, lungs, and the digestive system.

The symptoms may include,

  • Fever.
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcerations.
  • Pneumonia with high blood pressure.
  • Vision problems.
  • Pronounced mouth ulcers.
  • Hepatitis or brain inflammation with prolonged fever.
  • Inflammation of the brain or encephalitis can lead to seizures, behavioral changes, or even coma.

Though it has no cure like herpes, it is advised that people with weak immune systems experiencing the symptoms above should seek immediate medical attention. The doctor can recommend medications that can reduce the seriousness of the symptoms.

  • Congenital CMV.

Most babies born with CMV do not show symptoms, but around 10-15% develop hearing loss in the first six months of their life. The intensity ranges from slight to total hearing loss.

Half of the children will have hearing loss in one ear, while the remaining will experience the loss in both ears. Losing hearing ability in both ears can lead to high chances of communication issues later in life.

The symptoms of congenital CMV at birth may include jaundice, Pneumonia, enlarged spleen and liver, low birth weight, seizures, marks under the skin, purple splotches, rashes, or both. Some of the symptoms can be cured.

  • Syphilis.

Though it is not commonly transmitted through kissing, syphilis is mostly spread through genital, oral, or anal sex. However, it can cause sores in the mouth that can transfer the bacteria to somebody else.

French or deep kissing, which involves you and your partner colliding your tongues together when kissing, can increase infection chances. This is due to the exposure to infected tissues in your partner's mouth.

If left untreated, syphilis can lead to more serious or fatal conditions. Serious symptoms may include headache, fever, lymph node swelling, body exhaustion, warts, vision loss, and mental health conditions like neurosyphilis, memory loss, and even brain damage.

Prompt treatment with antibiotics such as penicillin is always a successful way of killing infectious bacteria. Consider treatment as early as possible if you suspect having syphilis to prevent prolonged complications.

STDs that cannot be spread through kissing.

Below is a quick guide to common STDs that cannot be transmitted through kissing.

  • Gonorrhea-this a bacterial infection that is spread through unsafe sex and not saliva.
  • Chlamydia-a bacterial infection that is transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected person. Kissing does not expose you to chlamydia.
  • HIV-a a viral infection that can be spread through other body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, blood, and anal fluids. There is no evidence of saliva carrying the virus.
  • Hepatitis is a liver condition that can be transmitted through sexual contact with the infected person or exposure to the infected blood but not through kissing.

The most recommended way to avoid contracting STDs through kissing is by having a direct and clear conversation with your partner about its dangers and prevention measures. Doing this can be a little intimidating, but it can help you prevent the infection and save you a whole world of long-term complications.

Final thoughts.

Most of the sexually transmitted infections are not transmitted through kissing. You should be less worried if you kiss a stranger. However, some STDs are transmitted via kissing, and it is important to be careful before kissing someone or do oral STD test and know your partner before you kiss.

You might assume that everybody is as healthy as you can see them, but you may not have the idea of which type of diseases they are carrying.

 As a word of advice, if you want to protect yourself, know who you are kissing, because you cannot know which STDs you can get from kissing.

The key factor is communication. Discuss things about STDs before getting in any kissing or sexual activity. Do not be afraid of being tested, or ask your partner to be tested. This way, you can be sure that neither of you can transmit STD.

Direct and transparent discussions can remove some of the anxieties and uncertainty involved in kissing and general lovemaking and make the experience more sublime.

 Enlighten each other as partners on which STDs you can get from kissing and the best way to prevent it from happening.

And finally, the best way to go if you suspect having STD is to consult your health care provider before kissing or engaging in sex. This will further help in preventing STDs you can get from kissing and their long-term complications.