How does Vaping Affect your Oral Health? Things to know
June 1st, 2022
Vaping is an electronic alternative to cigarette smoking. The electronic device uses a lithium battery to heat a liquid (vape juice, most commonly containing nicotine), turning it into an aerosol that users inhale. Vaping has gained tremendous popularity in the last decade, especially among teens and young adults. Unfortunately, many teens and young adults find vaping to be cool and “trendy” while are not aware of the adverse effects on health.
Why is vaping a concern?
Vaping may seem like a good alternative to smoking, but it still negatively affects your oral and overall health. Raising awareness of the side effects of vaping is a step forward in fighting this popularized trend.
Things to know about Vaping:
Vape oils contain an ingredient called Propylene glycol, which, when consumed in the form of vape smoke, will absorb some of the moisture in your mouth. Why does this matter?
This “moisture” A.K.A saliva is the mouth’s best natural defence to fighting unwanted bacteria that build over time. However, as this moisture is reduced through vaping, it causes dry mouth and consequently will increase the plaque bacteria that reside in your mouth, causing tooth decay and increasing the chances of developing gum disease.
Studies also suggest that nicotine restricts proper blood flow to the gum tissue. This altered blood flow circulation consequently increases the risk of developing gum disease.
Other oral-oriented side effects caused by vaping can include bone loss, dry mouth, and damaged enamel. These can lead to a greater chance of cavities, gum disease, inflamed gums, and other oral health complications.
In addition to internal negative side effects that may reside from vaping, the device itself can also malfunction and pose risks. There have been multiple cases reported that the electronic device has malfunctioned and exploded. Additionally, as the devices contain a lithium battery, they may overheat and explode in some instances.
Negative oral side effects of vaping:
Potential malfunction leading to an explosion
Will my dentist know if I vape?
Although vaping may not stain the tooth’s surface as severely as cigarettes do, they still pose adverse effects on your gums and teeth; therefore, yes, your dentist can tell if you regularly vape. The nicotine in the vape is what causes adverse effects on your oral health, which your dentist can scope.
What about non-nicotine vapes? Are they bad?
Even if the e-liquid in the vape does not contain nicotine, you are still susceptible to the risks stated above, like gum inflammation, dry mouth, etc.
Long term effects of vaping:
Vaping was invented back in 2003 but was known to be popularized in 2010. Although numerous studies have recently emerged stating the harmful effects of e-cigarettes, vaping has not been around long enough to know the long-term side effects.
The same trend applies to cigarettes, which were invented back in the early 19th century, but was not considered a harmful until the 1960s, when the evidence against smoking became so evident that people started realizing the harmful impact smoking has on an individual’s health.
This same trend can very well apply to e-cigarettes. There is a very good chance that within the next decade or two, it will become evident that the long-term side effects are as harmful or even worse than smoking. But, for now, it’s essential to be aware of the negative short-term effects that vaping has on oral health and overall well-being.
Long term effects of vaping:
The best-case scenario is to quit vaping entirely. However, if you have trouble quitting, it’s crucial to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine to reduce your chances of developing the negative side effects stated above. Please read our article on maintaining proper hygiene. It is also vital to regularly visit your dentist and chat with your dentist if you have questions or concerns regarding your oral health state.
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