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Can someone get gluten from kissing?

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Updated October 22, 2008

Question: Can someone get gluten from kissing?
Answer: Unfortunately, yes. If you have celiac disease and you kiss someone who:
  • Just ate gluten
  • Just drank a beer
  • Just used toothpaste or mouthwash that contains gluten
  • Wears lipstick with gluten
YOU are going to end up ingesting some of that gluten, too. (Attention to any innocent little kids who might be reading this: we’re talking about romantic kisses here, not the kind you give your grandma.)

What to do? One option is to make sure that before you kiss each other, the gluten-eating partner always brushes with a gluten-free toothpaste and then flosses. A more romantic approach is for both partners to eat gluten-free.

I don't want to get too graphic here, but if you're a gluten-free guy who's kissing a girl who wears lots of make-up, she needs to be sure that the cosmetics she uses on or near her mouth are gluten-free. Here's an excellent list of gluten-free cosmetics. Everyone else, please remember: gluten molecules don't pass through skin, so you only need gluten-free personal care items if there's a risk you might swallow them.

P.S. Don’t forget to brush any gluten crumbs out of mustaches.

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