Think about the best part of any romantic comedy. Everyone’s favorite moment of these movies is when the tension finally comes to a head and the two leads fall into each other’s arms and start making out. Is there anything more fun than locking lips with someone you love? The answer, of course, is no. Kissing someone you love (or even just someone you kind of like) is romantic, sweet, sexy, and just all-around enjoyable. Smooching isn’t just good for your relationship and your mental state, it’s also really good for your health. That’s right, there are a whole bunch of incredible health benefits we can get from kissing (as if we needed more reasons to lock lips). Read to find out more about the fascinating health benefits of kissing!
1. It Boosts Your Immune System – Human mouths have hundreds of types of bacteria in them, but everyone has slightly different microbes in their mouths. When we kiss, we swap good bacteria, which can boost our immune systems. You and your honey will end up sharing protection against many of the same illnesses.
2. It Can Reduce Blood Pressure – CNN reports that kissing can actually lower your blood pressure. How? Well, when you kiss passionately, it gets your heartbeat going faster, which dilates your blood vessels. Once your blood vessels are dilated, the blood can flow more easily to your organs.
3. It Can Relieve Pain – The same blood vessel dilation that helps reduce blood pressure can also relieve pain. Although kissing can help with all sorts of pain, it really helps relieve headaches and cramps.
4. It Helps Your Tooth Health – When you lock lips with someone, you start producing more saliva — as you do anytime you move your mouth more (like when you eat). The extra saliva you secrete when kissing can help wash away cavity-causing plaque on your teeth.
5. It Burns Calories – It’s not the same as going for a run, but kissing can actually burn a few calories. According to CNN, “A vigorous make-out session can burn 8 to 16 calories per smooch.” Obviously, kissing shouldn’t replace working out, but it can definitely replace lying around on the couch.
6. It Tightens Facial Muscles – You may realize this, but when you kiss, you work a variety of smaller muscles in your face that can tighten these muscles. Although it’s not quite the same as getting a facelift, kissing can help keep your jawline and neck stay tight.
7. It Releases Feel-Good Hormones – There are a few chemicals in your brain — oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine — that put you in a good mood, and kissing can make your body release these chemicals. Kissing can actually give you the same good feelings as exercising.
8. It Lowers Stress – According to Mind Body Green, kissing “decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases serotonin levels in the brain.” All of the feel-good hormones we get from kissing also help us feel happier and less anxious overall.