"Still, I would not go around advocating kissing after meals instead of brushing," he says.

A serious, tongue-tangling French kiss exercises all the underlying muscles of the face -- which some say could keep you looking younger, and certainly looking happier.

"If we happen to be connecting with someone we care about, it produces a sense of well-being and a kind of full-bodied pleasure." Kissing is also "a sensual meditation," she says.

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Prairie voles are the only vole species that mate for life; their genetic makeup drives them to produce satisfying amounts of oxytocin.

On the other hand, mountain voles are loners and breed promiscuously; they produce virtually no oxytocin.

"Women say they can tell if a relationship is going to work after the first kiss, after the first night of kissing," he says.

"They just get a feeling, an intuition." And while kissing may feel oh-so-good, it also has health benefits, too.

So there's every reason to think kissing is extremely calming, if you know the person well, or extremely stimulating if you are in love with somebody." Studies of rodents -- voles, specifically -- have shown that oxytocin makes a mother vole become attached to its offspring, says Larry Young, Ph D, professor of psychiatry in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Emory University Medical School in Atlanta.

Whether a guy vole sticks around "afterward" seems to be driven by oxytocin, Young tells Web MD.

It triggers a whole spectrum of physiological processes that boost your immunity and generally spruce up that body you work so hard to keep attractive.

Among the benefits of a good wet one: That extra saliva washes bacteria off your teeth, which can help break down oral plaque, says Mathew Messina, DDS, a private practice dentist in Fairview Park, Ohio, and consumer advisor for the American Dental Association.

Humans, interestingly enough, are the only species that includes nipple stimulation in lovemaking, he adds. "A kiss can be wildly sexual, wildly romantic, or it can be deeply gratifying because it's an affirmation of attachment.