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What Diseases Can Be Transmitted Through Kissing?

Kissing has lots of health benefits; still, it can be a medium for transmission of some diseases. When one person comes in contact with other through kissing, then a number of germs present in saliva or blood from cut sores in the mouth can spread from one to another. These exchanges of saliva are more likely to spread some diseases in another. These germs can be viruses and bacteria that invade your body through kissing and you may catch few diseases.

What Diseases Can Be Transmitted Through Kissing?

What Diseases Can Be Transmitted Through Kissing?

Bacteria borne diseases that are spread via kissing:

Streptococcal Infection- This infection is caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria that are transmitted through direct contact with the discharge from nose or throat from an infected person. Kissing may expose you to these discharges and cause strep throat in you. If it is left untreated, it can complicate into pneumonia.

Meningococcal Disease- It is the infectious condition of membranes of the brain and spinal cord. It is a serious life-threatening disease caused by bacteria that can spread through direct contact or by droplets. Only deep kissing may trigger the meningococcal disease.

Gingivitis- Bacteria present in mouth or saliva can transmit gingivitis and periodontitis when exposed to infected person through kissing. Gingivitis is a disease of gum, which can turn into severe form (periodontitis) if not managed properly. Tooth decay or tooth caries can also induce infection to the gum and mouth through kissing.

Virus borne diseases that are transmitted via kissing:

Common Cold- Infections of nose, mouth, and throat are called common cold. It is mediated by different viruses. Anyone can be infected by common cold by exposure to droplets in the air or by direct contact with secretions of the infected persons. Kissing can be one of the easiest ways for the viruses to get into your body through saliva.

Kissing Disease- Kissing disease or mononucleosis is a virus-borne disease caused by Epstein-Barr virus. This disease represents symptoms similar to flu such as fever, sore throat, muscle weakness, and swelling of lymph glands, thereby also known as glandular disease. The mode of transmission of this disease is also one to one mouth contact through kissing.

German Measles and Mumps- Flu, German measles, and mumps are caused by any respiratory virus. Kissing will definitely transmit these infections, sometimes before locking the lips via respiration. These diseases are contact diseases and extremely contagious.

Herpes – Herpes infection depends on the causative virus, it can be varicella-zoster and herpes simplex. Herpes simplex is marked by cold sore or fever blisters. Even a small smooch can infect your partner or children through direct contact with the virus. Herpes is communicable mainly during the shedding of the virus. This virus can infect you even after healing of the blisters.

Hepatitis B- Hepatitis B is transmitted by infected blood and saliva. Kissing can trigger the disease by transmission of the virus through saliva when the partner comes in contact with mucous membranes or open sores around the mouth of an infected person.

Cytomegalovirus Infection- This infection happens in immune deprived persons. Its common mode of transmission is saliva, blood, urine, semen and breast milk of infected person. So, kissing will definitely spread the infection.

HIV- The chances of getting infected with HIV virus through kissing are very low. The only chance of HIV infection is when one gets in contact with a cut sore in the mouth during open mouth kissing.


Plain French kissing has less likability to catch infectious diseases. Kissing can cause the above stated bacterial and viral diseases through the exchange of saliva, air or by direct contact with the cut sores in the mouth of the infected persons. Avoiding mouth to mouth contact with the infected person and good oral hygiene can be an effective prevention of these diseases.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 28, 2023

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