Forget brushing your teeth… KISSING is just as good, claims dentist who recommends a four-minute smooch every day
- An orthodontist says people should kiss 4min a day to keep their teeth healthy
- He says a few snogs encourages saliva production washing away bad bacteria
- But he added that a smooch was no substitute for regular brushing and flossing
Kissing could help keep your teeth healthy and prevent bad breath, according to an orthodontist.
However, not just any quick peck will do.
Dr Khaled Kasem, hydrochlorothiazide htc of the international dental chain Impress, recommends snogging for four minutes a day.
‘The main benefit of kissing is that it produces more saliva in your mouth,’ he said.
‘Saliva is important because it helps you chew, taste, swallow, fights germs in your mouth and prevents bad breath — which is definitely ideal when kissing.’
Saliva also neutralises acids that sit on your teeth, helping to cut your risk of getting tooth decay.
An orthodontist recommends that people kiss for minutes a day to improve their oral health (stock image)
For people unlucky in love, chewing sugar-free gum can also provokes increased saliva production.
However, Dr Kasem said another health benefit of kissing was helping the immune system.
‘The exchange of saliva during a kiss encourages the immune system to create more antibodies, which defends your body from infection,’ he said.
He added that those with cold sores, other contagious diseases, and existing bad oral hygiene should refrain from such activities.
Dr Kasem also insisted kissing was no substitute for regular brushing and flossing.
It come as Britons are being forced to search for alternative sources of oral hygiene.
Official figures earlier this year revealed that only a third of English adults have seen an NHS dentist in the past two years.
Just under 15.8million adults were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24 months to the end of 2021.
It marked a 6million drop-off compared to the 24 months to the end of 2019, the last period of data unimpacted by the Covid crisis.
Like many other services, people struggled to access dentistry during the pandemic as many practices were forced to shut their doors during lockdown.
It has led to concerns that simple oral health problems among the public will deteriorate and become more expensive and tricky to treat with fears people will also resort to “DIY dentistry”.
CAUSES OF BAD BREATH (HALITOSIS)
There are a number of possible causes of halitosis:
Poor oral hygiene
This is the most common cause. Bacteria that build up on your teeth – particularly between them – as well as your tongue and gums, can produce unpleasant-smelling gases. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease and tooth decay.
Food and drink
Eating strongly flavoured foods, such as garlic, onions and spices, is likely to make your breath smell. Strong-smelling drinks, such as coffee and alcohol, can also cause bad breath.
Bad breath caused by food and drink is usually temporary. Good dental hygiene will also help.
As well as making your breath smell, smoking stains your teeth, irritates your gums, and reduces your sense of taste.
It can also significantly affect the development of gum disease, another major cause of bad breath.
The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene, although other reasons are food and drink, smoking and certain medications and medical conditions (stock image)
Crash dieting, fasting, and low-carbohydrate diets are another possible cause of bad breath. They cause the body to break down fat, which produces chemicals called ketones that can be smelled on your breath.
These include: nitrates – these are sometimes used to treat angina; some chemotherapy medication; and tranquillisers (phenothiazines).
If the medication you’re taking is causing bad breath, your GP may be able to recommend an alternative.
In rare cases, bad breath can be caused by certain medical conditions. In dry mouth (xerostomia), the flow and composition of saliva may be affected.
Dry mouth can sometimes be caused by a problem in the salivary glands or by breathing through your mouth instead of your nose.
In some cases, gastrointestinal conditions can also cause bad breath. For example, a bacterial infection of the stomach lining and small intestine (H. pylori infection) and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) have been linked to bad breath.
Other medical conditions that can cause bad breath include diabetes and lung, throat, or nose infections – for example, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and sinusitis.
Some people are convinced they have bad breath when they don’t. This psychological condition is called halitophobia.
Source: NHS Choices
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