Kissing is a tool of physical affection used to express romantic feelings, love, intimacy, and more. A practice as old as humanity itself, kissing stirs up warm feelings and we long to kiss someone we care about in a romantic fashion.

What many people don’t realize, though, is that not only is kissing good fun for you–it’s actually good for your health as well! Here are some of the many health benefits of kissing (for you to keep in mind next time your date comes over):

health benefits of kissing

Screencap from Pretty Little Liars courtesy of ABC

1. It reduces blood pressure.

According to a report from CNN, when you’re involved in a passionate kissing session, your lips aren’t the only things that get moving. While your heart may not literally skip a beat, your heartbeat speeds up when you’re kissing your guy, and that means your blood vessels will be dilated as well. This helps decrease your blood pressure and ensures that your blood is flowing throughout your body to all the places it needs to reach, including other vital organs.

5 Health Benefits of Kissing

GIF from Pretty Little Liars via Tumblr

2. Kissing helps you fight cavities.

In description, this one might sound a little gross, but when you’re kissing your sweetheart, your saliva starts producing at an increased rate, which has a number of benefits for you. The increased saliva production is good for your teeth because it helps wash away the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities, tooth decay, and a build up of plaque. So, forget apples because not only can kissing keep the doctor away with it’s health benefits–it can keep the dentist away as well!

5 Health Benefits of Kissing

GIF from The Notebook via Giphy

3. It can burn calories.

While kissing will in no way be able to replace your usual workout routine, it does help you to burn a small amount of calories. According to an article from LiveStrong.com, passionate make out sessions can burn 2-3 calories per minute, so if you have a 30 minute kissing frenzy with your sweetheart, you can burn off that 90-calorie after lunch snack that you knew you weren’t really supposed to have anyway. Be honest with yourself, doesn’t a nice, long, steamy make out session with your man sound like a lot more fun than going out for a quick jog anyways?

5 Health Benefits of Kissing

GIF from Friends via Tumblr

4. Kissing can relieve pain.

A Purdue Exponent article reports that kissing releases endorphins in your brain, which include serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Interestingly, these are are nature’s pain relievers. It’s especially been proven to help with menstrual cramps or headaches, so next time you are about to turn down your lover just because it’s your time of the month and you aren’t feeling so great, maybe you should think twice. You might find that a make out session is just the thing that you need to make yourself feel a bit better, without the side effects of medicine.

GIF from The Princess Bride via Giphy

GIF from The Princess Bride via Giphy

5. It’s good for your skin.

SheKnows.com reports that kissing can keep your face toned and your skin fit because it exercises your facial muscles. When you kiss your guy, you are making use of 34 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles, and we all know how much good exercise does for keeping any muscles in shape. Over time, kissing can actually shape up your jawline and neck to provide a more trim portrait of yourself.

GIF from Jem and the Holograms via Giphy

GIF from Jem and the Holograms via Giphy

Next time you aren’t feeling so well, don’t be so quick to turn down your beau when he comes at you for a little bit of love and a steamy kissing session. Not only will it possibly make you feel better in the then-and-now, it can have surprising long-term health benefits for you!