What You Should Know About Kissing And Chocolate On Valentine’s Day before You Pucker Up!





What You Should Know About Kissing And Chocolate On Valentine’s Day before You Pucker Up!


Written By Dr.Sharde Harvey from Upper East Dental Innovations

She can be reached at 212-697-1701 or emailed at info@uedi.nyc


Most of us celebrate St. Valentine’s day with greeting cards, gifts, candy, affection and love. But, what should we know from an oral cavity point of view about kissing and chocolate on this delightfully sweet day? Well, while kissing may date back as far as 326 Bc., no matter how old we get, our hearts still race when we remember a lover’s kiss. Within our lips, lies an erogenous zone of nerve endings which, senses the pleasure we feel during kissing. No wonder we have been kissing for so long!


Research have long shown that kissing can lower stress and increase endorphins. What most don’t know about kissing though, is that kissing can cause cavities! Kissing someone and exchanging saliva containing the microbes, Streptococcus Mutans, which causes the production of acids, given the right conditions, can lead to decay of the teeth, in someone who does not have cavities. Cavities is a bacterial infection of your teeth. If you have cavities, Streptococcus Mutans, one of the over 300 strains of bacteria in your mouth, can take a hold in your partner’s mouth, and cause cavities, given the optimum oral cavity environment. Factors such as your partner's sugar and carbohydrate intake, whether they are seeing a dentist for their regular checkups (every 6 months), whether they are flossing, and brushing regularly, whether the genetic composition of their teeth is prone to decay, and whether fluoride is present in their water supply, all contribute to the likelihood of spreading cavities between partners.


So what does kissing and chocolate have in common? Past studies have shown that they both release endorphins, the feel good chemical that gets released in your bodies. Which one works better has been debatable, but guess which one takes the cake? Yes! You are right! Chocolate does! A small Uk study measured the brain waves of 6 couples while they were kissing, standing with their eyes open (the control), and while letting a piece of chocolate melt in their mouths. The results? Well, the researchers found that while both kissing and chocolate caused some stimulation of brain activity, such as alertness (increased alpha bands) and relaxation (increased beta bands), chocolate produced about 4 times the results (measured in alpha and Beta bands) versus kissing. Another thing that chocolate and kissing have in common, is that they both stimulates your sense of smell. In various species of animals, including humans, smell enhances arousal and excitement, contributing to pleasure.



Chocolate, like salt and fat, also causes the release of dopamine and contains both caffeine and theobromine which are mental stimulants. Additionally, chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which raises our blood pressure and heart rate. The amino acid tryptophan, is also found in chocolate. Tryptophan releases serotonin as does sugar, which is also contained in chocolate. Tryptophan is also sold as a mood and relaxation supplement but is found naturally occurring, in many foods such as dairy products, poultry and seafood. Health wise, we have learned that dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate for us, as it is packed with antioxidants and various trace minerals important for our metabolism and is involved in the neuropathways of pleasure.


So you may ask, best way to avoid spreading cavities between partners? Dr. Sharde Harvey of Upper East Dental Innovations says, "Control your own oral cavity environment by seeing your dentist every 6 months for a check up, cleaning and X-rays. Floss everyday, do flouride treatments in your dental office, or use a flouride listerine. Eat a low carbohydrate, low sugar diet. Brush your teeth and flossing after meals. And, flossing and brushing after kissing may also help prevent spreading cavities between partners!  Lastly, If you have to pick a candy to buy for a gift or eat on Valentines Day, pick a dark chocolate as not only is dark chocolate lower in sugar, but chocolate is the best candy to eat for your teeth because it melts off of your teeth with the natural flow of your saliva, preventing cavities from forming due to the presence of Streptococcus Mutan’s and it's production of acids”. Dr. Harvey recommends Hu chocolate, because it has the lowest sugar content gram per gram as compared with other 70% dark chocolates, only 8 grams of sugar in 30grams of chocolate and it’s still 70% cacao giving all the health benefits of dark chocolate. So eat your chocolate, but don’t forget to brush afterwards! Hu Chocolate

Dr. Sharde Harvey

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