The third day of the Carnival holiday is almost over, but by now, many people must have kissed one or more on the lips on the streets of Belo Horizonte. It's a good time to “exchange” affection (and saliva), and the celebrations are on the rise, too The risk of contracting diseases when kissing strangers.
Dental surgeon Paolo Zahr, president of Grupo Odonto, highlighted five common problems associated with this custom during celebrations.
“It is important to remain alert and avoid kissing when there are visible infections or symptoms of infectious diseases. Moreover, open communication and awareness about each person’s personal health can also help prevent the transmission of diseases.
Zahr also emphasizes that simple oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting these diseases.
See the most important diseases transmitted through kissing:
- The kissing disease (infectious mononucleosis)
The “kissing disease,” caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, can appear silently, showing symptoms such as fever, sore throat, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.
- Oral candidiasis (“thrush”)
Kissing is transmitted mainly through direct contact, which is one way the fungi responsible for oral candidiasis spread. Sharing tools and objects also presents a risk and can affect not only oral health, but also other areas of the body, including the respiratory organs and skin.
HSV-1, which causes cold sores, can be transmitted through direct contact with active lesions or wounds on the lips, and appears through small blisters around the area.
Bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, which contribute to the development of cavities, can be transmitted during the exchange of saliva, which poses another risk when kissing strangers.
- Respiratory infections
Cold or flu viruses, which are responsible for respiratory infections, can be transmitted through droplets of saliva found in a simple kiss.
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