10 Benefits of Kissing You Probably Never Knew

Kissing naturally relaxes you

Scientific reports say kissing increases the levels of oxytocin, the body’s natural calming chemical. It also increases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals. Swapping spit also boosts dopamine, which aids in feelings of romantic attachment.

Kissing helps you pick the best mate

Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes kissing as a “mate assessment tool.” Much of the cortex is devoted to picking up sensations from around the lips, cheeks, tongue, and nose. Out of 12 cranial nerves, five of them pick up data from around the mouth. It is built to pick up the most sensitive feelings—the most intricate tastes and smells and touch and temperature. And when you’re kissing somebody, you can really hear them and see them and feel them. So kissing is not just kissing. It is a profound advertisement of who you are, what you want, and what you can give.

Other researchers note that kissing is biology’s way of determining who in nature you are most genetically compatible with. “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 who studies reproductive competition and the biology of interpersonal attraction. “Therefore, what happens during that first kiss can be a make-or-break proposition.” No pressure, though. Speaking of first kisses, these awkward true first kiss stories are sure to make you laugh (and cringe).

Passionate kisses are good for your oral health

According to Mark Burhenne, DDS, founder of, and the author of The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox, kissing supports good oral and dental health in a few ways. One is that kissing is one of the few ways to share a good microbiota, according to Dr. Burhenne. “If your oral microbiome isn’t all that diverse or healthy, exchanging saliva with a partner who does have a healthy oral microbiome may be the trick you need to improve the health of your own,” he says. 

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