Why kissing is better for your health than you realized

Pucker up, people! Kissing does way more than just increase arousal, and it's going to make you want to smooch your lover a whole lot more. As OB/GYN Jessica A. Shepherd, M.D., MBA, told mindbodygreen, "Several factors have been identified with kissing and love, including oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, and other stress hormones, nerve growth factor, and testosterone." 

But it's the fact that it can help you choose your mate that really piques our interest. "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 (via South Coast Today). "Therefore, what happens during that first kiss can be a make-or-break proposition." Pretty cool, right?

Better still, kissing can actually benefit your health. According to Sivan Finkel, a cosmetic dentist in New York City, kissing can benefit your oral hygiene. "The extra saliva helps remineralize teeth and protect them from acid attacks," he told Glamour. And other experts believe it can even fight off cavities (via CNN). The good news, though, doesn't end there.

Kissing has the potential to lower your blood pressure, anxiety, and stress

Kissing is also believed to lower your blood pressure, anxiety, and stress levels. "Kissing passionately gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that helps lower your blood pressure," Andréa Demirjian, author of Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life's Sweetest Pleasures, explained to CNN. "It dilates your blood vessels — blood is flowing in a good, solid fashion and getting to all your vital organs," she continued. And it can even help with headaches (via Greatist). 

Your immune system is something else that can benefit from kissing. Unlike when we children and were more than happy to put dirty hands in our mouths, we're more conscious about germs as grownups. As a result, "[K]issing may be one of our more effective ways of introducing our immune systems to new microbiomes of bacteria," sex expert and educator Candice Smith, M.Ed., told Bustle. Turns out you can actually kiss your way to good health.