If your partner’s kiss is on your lips, his microbes are, too.
A passionate kiss that lasts more than 10 seconds transfers about 80 million bacteria, researchers say. The evidence, published Sunday in the journal Microbiome, comes from 21 couples, ages 17 to 45, who made out for science. (Tough gig.)
Each couple had their mouths swabbed and spit to measure the bacteria in their mouths. Even before kissing, the couples had similar mouth bacteria.
“To our surprise, we found that those people that are intimately related … share much more of that bacteria on their tongue than unrelated individuals,” Remco Kort, a microbiologist at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research in Amsterdam and lead author of the study told NPR’s Rob Stein. He believes it may be due to other shared habits among couples, like using a certain toothpaste or smoking.
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