Electronic cigarettes and vaping have become very popular over the last few years. Many people choose to switch from regular cigarettes due to their perception that there are fewer health risks from vaping than from smoking. However, what most people miss is the link between vaping and your oral health. Even though vaping doesn’t contain the tar traditional cigarettes are known to have, they still pose some health hazards to your teeth and gums according to Lynnfield, MA dentist Dr. Stephen Petinge.
Dangerous Contents of an E-Cigarette
Vape juice is placed in an e-cigarette, which heats the liquid, making it vaporize. The liquid ingredients in vape juice include a mixture of water, flavorings, glycerin, and propylene glycol. Even though vape juice doesn’t contain tar like a cigarette, most of them do contain nicotine.
Is Vaping Dangerous to Your Oral Health?
Getting rid of exposure to tar is great, but it’s not the only chemical in e-cigarettes that can be harmful to your oral health. We don’t yet know how serious the long-term effects of the other substances may be since vaping is still relatively new. However, your Lynnfield Dentist does know that some of the chemicals in an e-cigarette can have a negative impact on oral health. Here are some of the potential hazards vaping can present to your oral health.
Tooth decay is often the result of bacteria that settles in the fissures and pits in the natural contours of the teeth. Tooth decay leads to cavities. When you inhale the vapor from an e-cigarette into the mouth, the teeth may be exposed to more bacteria. This can cause a plaque buildup on the teeth which can lead to more cavities. This is the case across the board, but it’s especially dangerous for those who do not observe good oral hygiene habits.
E-cigarettes contain propylene glycol, which can cause dry mouth for users. It might just seem like an annoyance, but it can contribute to other serious health problems. The saliva in your mouth acts as a natural defense. Vaping increases the temperature in the mouth, which removes some of the natural moisture. Lacking saliva in the mouth increases the chance of cavities since it’s easier for tooth decay to occur without the extra layer of protection saliva provides. Also, dry mouth can lead to chronic bad breath, painful sores on the gums, or other tissue in the mouth.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease
Your gums are more susceptible to disease with extra bacteria in the mouth. But vaping itself might damage gum tissue. You are putting yourself at a higher risk for developing dry mouth when you vape, but if you have a sensitivity to the chemicals in the vape juice, you could end up with irritated and inflamed gums. In severe cases, your gums might bleed and then recede. These are early signs of gum disease.
Tips for Those Who Choose to Vape
Studies are still underway to determine the long-term effects of vaping and the impact they may have on oral health. Without the nicotine of cigarettes, they may not be as harmful to your health, but there are still plenty of potential hazards. Those who choose to vape should be familiar with the possible risks posed to their physical and oral health. There are a few things you may be able to do to minimize the dangers to your dental health.
- Limit or avoid vape juice that contains nicotine.
- Drink more water to help replace the moisture removed by vaping.
- Be diligent about maintaining good oral hygiene habits.
- See your Lynnfield and North Boston area dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Contact Dr. Stephen Petinge
Please contact your Lynnfield Dentist if you have more questions about vaping and your oral health or need to schedule an appointment.