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Can Too Much Kissing Damage Lips?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
Q:My fiance & I kissed for about 4 hrs. straight, yesterday. Today I got lots of coldsours on my lower lip. My lip is almost 4 times its real size due to the swelling. Do you think this swelling is really because of too much kissing or what?
Expert Answer

Kissing is a gesture that expresses a number of feelings such as love, care, respect, affection or greeting. But the kiss that makes you feel weak in your legs and butterflies in your tummy is a passionate lip lock with your lover or partner. Ever wonder* why does such kiss feel completely different and so pleasurable? It is because of the chemicals, oxytocin and dopamine that rush out of our brain while we romantically kiss.

Chemicals Oxytocin

The unexplainable feeling of pleasure you get during and after kissing is a result of chemical reactions that are triggered in our brain due to such intimate action. The reaction produces* a chemical called oxytocin. Oxytocin is the feel good hormone; it is this chemical, which makes the kiss and other intimate experiences pleasurable and the urge to go through with it again and again. Another property of oxytocin is that it reduces* stress levels and feeling of pain in a body, making us feel relaxed. It also strengthens the emotional bond and increases* the level of care and affection between the kissers.

Chemical Dopamine

Dopamine is another product of a chemical reaction, which occurs in our brain during various situations including intimacy. Dopamine works somewhat like oxytocin, but its main characteristic, in addition to pleasure, is that it motivates you to pursue the outcome you are expecting. While you kiss your Mr. Right, dopamine chemical makes you want to explore and anticipate and in the end leaves you wanting more of it. But, if dopamine drops it takes oxytocin with it, which can affect the emotional bonding between lovers. So, this all explains the kissing phenomenon. Let’s see what kissing can do with your lips.

Not to scare you or put you off, but kissing can be a source of many diseases. Numerous infections can be transferred from one mouth to another through saliva. Below we discuss few contagious diseases commonly transferred through saliva while kissing.

Transfers The Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1)

Herpes simplex is a viral infection of the skin and mucous membranes. Since its viral it is highly contagious and can easily be transferred by the exchange of a lip kiss. Herpes simplex virus HSV1 usually causes an infection of the lips and mouth. The virus, inhabited in body fluids like saliva and a herpes sore, infects the other person by contact with the skin, saliva and mucous. It has painful, irritating symptoms such as;

  • Appearance of small red blisters
  • Tingling and itchy sensation
  • Those blisters after a while turn into painful open lesions
  • Infected may also feel the symptoms of flu such as fever, headache and swollen glands

Mononucleosis And Glandular Fever (The So-Called Kissing Diseases)

Glandular fever is another viral disease, which is transferred through saliva. It is called the kissing disease because kissing is one of the common ways to fall prey to it. The symptoms appearing under its affect are;

  • High fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck
  • Feeling of extreme tiredness and exhaustion

This virus can also affect other organs like the spleen and liver. No cure* has been found for glandular fever, but we can control* the symptoms through painkillers and gargling. Once you recover from it your body develops a lifelong immunity against this disease preventing it to appear again.

Colds, Flu And Many Other Diseases

Along with pleasure, kissing can also give you various diseases. There are plenty many viral as well as bacterial infections you can catch by just making out. Some of them are;

Amylase and Maltose can Deteriorate The Thin Skin Of The Lips

Amylase and maltose are digestive enzymes present in your saliva that helps break down food. Kissing leaves your lips with a layer of saliva, which when evaporates, takes away the moisture and the thin natural coating of oil from your lips. This causes our lips to get dry and cracked.

Conclusion

There is no way we can quit kissing, but there are a number of things we can keep in mind to reduce* all the risks.

  • Maintain oral hygiene
  • Avoid kissing if you’re ill or the person you want to kiss is unwell
  • Get immunizing vaccines to prevent some of the infections