Pucker up! Kissing can not only bring you closer to your partner emotionally but it can also lead to you sharing the same bacterial composition and even help to build up defense against viruses, research suggests.
Around 80 million bacteria can be spread between mouths during a ten-second kiss, according to a new study by Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and published in the journal Microbiome.
The study involved 21 couples who had their tongues swabbed and saliva collected, both before and after kissing, in order for the researchers to analyze the bacteria composition of their mouths.
The researchers found that the more often a couple kisses, the more bacteria they share and that being with someone for an extended amount of time leads to a similar collection of bacteria on the tongue. Basically, if a couple kisses at least nine times a day, exchanging up to 80 million bacteria, they could end up with the same germ pool in their mouths.
Previous studies have shown that if the number of different bacteria increase this could even act as a form of immunization by helping the body to build up resistance by exposing it to more microorganisms.