15 Health Benefits Of Kissing – Why Kisses Are Good For You

Kissing is great for romantic bonding and just as awesome for your health.

man and woman facing each other about to kiss Getty

We know kissing as a social pleasantry, the appropriate ending for a date, and a means of connecting with our main squeeze.

The collision of lips and tongues that we often take for granted has a lot more perks than we think, as there are actually beneficial reasons to kiss.

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Here are 15 reasons to kiss and why kissing is healthy for you.

15 health benefits of kissing

1. Kissing can boost your immunity.

A study in Medical Hypotheses[fn]Hendrie, C. A., & Brewer, G. (2010). Kissing as an evolutionary adaptation to protect against Human Cytomegalovirus-like teratogenesis. Medical hypotheses, 74(2), 222–224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2009.09.033[/fn] says kissing may increase a woman's immunity from Cytomegalovirus.

Cytomegalovirus is contracted through mouth-to-mouth contact, and can cause infant blindness and other congenital disabilities if the mother is a carrier during pregnancy. Otherwise, the bug is relatively harmless in adults.


Kissing has long been thought to be a way to pass along bugs and thus strengthen the body's defenses, so it can be beneficial to kiss every day.

2. Kissing can help you pick a compatible mate.

Anthropologist Helen Fisher has described kissing as a "mechanism for mate choice and mate assessment."[fn]Mason, B. (2009, February 13). Scientists Agree: It’s in His Kiss. Wired. Retrieved August 12, 2022, from https://www.wired.com/2009/02/kissingscience/[/fn]

Our brain is devoted to processing sensory information, picking up sensations from around the lips, cheeks, tongue, and nose. And out of 12 cranial nerves, five pick up the data from around the mouth, which is built to pick up the most sensitive feelings — the most intricate tastes, smells, touch, and temperature.

When you're kissing somebody, you can really hear them, see them, and feel them in such a close, intimate environment. Kissing is not just kissing. It is a profound statement of who you are, what you want, and what you can give. This is a critical reason kissing can show how you can benefit your relationship. It can bring you and your partner closer, especially if you have a strong kissing connection.


Other researchers note that kissing is biology's way of determining who in nature you are most genetically compatible with.[fn]Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, October 10). Kissing helps us find the right partner — and keep them. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 8, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010205142.htm[/fn]

"At the moment of the kiss, there are hard-wired mechanisms that assess health, reproductive status, and genetic compatibility," says Gordon G. Gallup Jr., a professor of evolutionary psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. "Therefore, what happens during that first kiss can be a make-or-break proposition."

3. Kissing burns calories.

Researchers claim that you can burn anywhere from 2 to 26 calories per minute[fn]Alpert, J. S. (2013). Philematology: The Science of Kissing. A Message for the Marital Month of June. The American Journal of Medicine, 126(6), 466. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2012.12.022[/fn] while kissing.

Not quite a jog on the treadmill, but an hour's worth of smooching may burn off half a handful of M&Ms or half a glass of wine. Hey, it's something, and one of the coolest reasons why kissing is healthy for you.


4. Kissing can even help with strengthening your facial muscles.

Sure tight abs or cellulite-free thighs may be first on the Tone Up list, but don't underestimate the workout your mouth gets during a makeout session, according to a research letter published in JAMA Dermatology.[fn]Alam M, Walter AJ, Geisler A, et al. Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging. JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(3):365–367. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5142[/fn]

According to American cardiologist Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., a simple kiss cause two muscles in your face to create an exchange, but kissing for a more extended period can work up to 24 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles.

5. Kissing can help you relax — naturally.

Scientific reports say kissing increases oxytocin levels[fn]MS. Pooja Parmar "Oxytocin- The Hormone of Love." IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences (IOSR-JPBS) 12.6 (2017): 01-09. DOI: 10.9790/3008-1206060109[/fn], the body's natural calming chemical.

Kissing also increases endorphins, the body's feel-good hormones, in addition to dopamine and serotonin, among others.


These hormones are also noted to aid in feelings of bonding and attachment in romantic relationships.

6. Kissing can really steam things up.

All those hormones we were just talking about? According to psychologists, kissing is one of the best ways to build up those hormones and aid in feeling hot and heavy when kissing your partner.[fn]Why We Kiss (and How to Do It Right). (n.d.). Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201111/wh…]

When you're kissing, all the chemical changes inside your brain help activate a reward system, flooding you with "love hormones" and making the experience of having sex a passionate, stimulating trip that starts with kissing.

7. Kissing can feel like an actual drug high.

According to Dr. Fischer, there are multiple reasons for kissing, including attachment, which involves bonding chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Kissing creates a similar feeling in your brain comparable to taking drugs like heroin and cocaine, which give you a high that makes you feel really good.


RELATED: 5 Awful Kissing Mistakes Guys Make That Completely Ruin The Mood

8. Kissing can help women achieve an orgasm.

A 2021 study[fn]Dean M. Busby, Veronica Hanna-Walker & Chelom E. Leavitt (2022) Is Kissing a Bellwether of Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction?, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 48:2, 133-146, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2021.1977747[/fn] focused on women, orgasms, and the women's overall satisfaction with their relationships, offered further insight on how relationships are about much more than just lip service.

The researchers concluded that frequency and women's rating of specific kinds of kissing reflected how satisfied the women were in their relationships, both in and out of the bedroom. Kissing during intimate moments showed the closeness of a couple and the health of their connection with each other.

9. Kissing can build up your relationship and your self-esteem.

Kissing has the power to help repair emotional baggage or damage from your relationship that has left you feeling like less of who you really are, according to social workers Linda and Charlie Bloom.[fn]Kissing Adds Years to Your Life. (n.d.). Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/stronger-the-broken-places/2019…] Part of repairing that damage can help you feel even more whole than you did before and enrich your relationship, elevating it to a whole new level.


They aren't the only ones who say so either. A study conducted in 2017[fn]Ashley E. Thompson, Yvonne Anisimowicz & Danica Kulibert (2019) A kiss is worth a thousand words: the development and validation of a scale measuring motives for romantic kissing, Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 34:1, 54-74, DOI: 10.1080/14681994.2017.1386299[/fn] also claimed that kissing could help decrease feelings of insecurity. Plus, the increase in oxytocin and dopamine helps lower cortisol, helping to lower your negative feelings toward yourself.

10. Kissing may reduce anxiety.

Besides reducing stress, making you feel more relaxed, and giving you a high, Drs. Esch and Stefano explain how neurobiology plays into how kissing can also help decrease your level of anxiety. Oxytocin, dopamine, and other natural hormones your body produces decrease your anxiety because it increases your wellness, ability to relax, and overall enjoyment of life.[fn]Esch, T., & Stefano, G. B. (2005). The Neurobiology of Love. Neuro endocrinology letters, 26(3), 175–192.[/fn]

11. Kissing can help reduce blood pressure.

If you're looking for a way to reduce high blood pressure, try kissing! According to author Andrea Demirjian, kissing can increase your heart rate, dilating your blood vessels.

Kirshenbaum explained in “The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us," that when that happens, you experience an increased blood flow which causes an immediate decrease in your blood pressure.


12. Kissing can help reduce cramps.

If you're not comfortable having sex on your period, but you like kissing, you should definitely kiss more, especially if you're experiencing menstrual cramps. Kissing can help relieve your menstrual cramp pain as your dilated blood vessels, and increased blood flow can help relieve pain.

In addition to assisting more blood flowing throughout your system, there are those hormones that keep coming up — oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and others. Not only do they strengthen the connection between you and your partner, but Demirgian says that oxytocin naturally raises women's threshold for tolerating pain.

13. Kissing has been linked to improvements in cholesterol levels.

According to a study from 2009,[fn]Kory Floyd, Justin P. Boren, Annegret F. Hannawa, Colin Hesse, Breanna McEwan & Alice E. Veksler (2009) Kissing in Marital and Cohabiting Relationships: Effects on Blood Lipids, Stress, and Relationship Satisfaction, Western Journal of Communication, 73:2, 113-133, DOI: 10.1080/10570310902856071[/fn] couples who increased the number of times they were kissing experienced an improvement in their total serum cholesterol.


So, kissing can lower your risk of several diseases, including heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the country.

14. Kissing can even help relieve allergy symptoms.

If you need relief from your allergies from allergy season, keep kissing! Kissing has actually proven to provide significant relief[fn]Kimata, H. (2003). Kissing reduces allergic skin wheal responses and plasma neurotrophin levels. Physiology & Behavior, 80(2-3), 395–398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.09.004[/fn] from allergic reactions like hives and other reactions associated with pollen and household dust mites.

15. Kissing can help you fight cavities.

Surprising as it might be, kissing causes you to produce more saliva,[fn]MultiBrief: Kissing can help ward off tooth decay. (n.d.). MultiBriefs - Your source for industry-specific News Briefs. http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/kissing-can-ward-off-tooth-decay/oral-dental-healthcare[/fn] which helps clean out your mouth.

It won't replace your toothbrush, but it doesn't hurt!


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Melissa Noble is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to YourTango.