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The Oral Health Impacts Of Vaping

Smoking has jumped on the digital wagon by introducing electronic cigarettes. Popularly known as e-cigarettes or e-cigs, the handheld electronic device is becoming more popular. This is especially true as a substitute for conventional cigarettes which are known for their adverse effects on people’s health including oral health.

And so the question remains:

Is vaping bad for your teeth?

The answer is yes. Although thought to be not as harmful as its predecessor, e-cigarettes are not risk-free.

Vaping can cause gum disease.

Just like smoking cigarettes, vaping can cause gum problems due to the ingestion of nicotine.

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor compound. This means that it has the potential to prompt the muscular wall of the blood vessels to contract. These contractions can lead to reduced blood flow. As a result, this can eventually lead to a higher risk of gum disease as due to the prolonged decline of oxygen and nutrient supply.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Redness, tenderness, or swelling of the gums
  • Loose or wobbly teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Tooth loss

Does vaping make your teeth yellow?

Luckily for those who vape and are conscious of stained teeth — Vaping does not discolor the teeth.

How bad is vaping to overall health?

Aside from its negative implication on the gums, using e-cigarettes are bad to other parts of the body. For instance, this includes the throat, heart, lungs, among others.

Why does vaping hurt your throat?

Unlike cigarettes where concentrated amounts of nicotine combined with tar help increase saliva production as your body’s way of protecting your mouth’s epithelial cells from the heat, e-cigarettes do not do the same. Instead, vaping does the opposite. This is because of propylene glycol, a synthetic organic compound which is colorless, nearly odorless, and has a faintly sweet taste.

Propylene glycol gathers air moisture in the mouth when you inhale. Thus, a sore or dry throat and mouth may be experienced. In fact, this condition is common among new users of e-cigarettes who are trying to quit smoking.

Does vaping cause cancer?

According to research, smoking e-cigarettes can deliver cancer-causing chemicals to the body. In the research conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California, it was found that high levels of cancer-causing chemicals are present in the bodies of those who vape than nonsmokers.

Can vaping affect your lungs?

Moreover, diacetyl, a cancer-causing chemical blamed for “popcorn lung” or bronchiolitis obliterans was found in e-cigarette vapor. “Popcorn lung” damages the smallest airways of the lungs, causing coughing and shortness of breath.

However, e-cigarettes are relatively new. Thus, studies on them remain limited. Extensive studies and research on the health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping are necessary to fully establish its effects.

How does vaping work?

With all the health impacts that vaping can cause, it is best to know how e-cigarettes work to better understand its implications. Thus, you can make your own decision about e-cigarettes and whether or not you wish to use them.

Electronic cigarettes are powered by a battery. Its intricate mechanism includes a heating component and a cartridge where nicotine and other flavors are lodged. The battery heats the liquid which then vaporizes it and turns into an inhalable substance.

Rather than the conventional combustion system of analog cigarettes that involve tobacco, fire, and the emission of harmful chemicals, e-cigs automatically convert nicotine into vapor. The extenuated term for the use of e-cig is called “vaping.”

Meanwhile, manufacturers and retailers of e-cigarettes claim that the product is a cleaner and healthier therapeutic alternative to help smokers kick the habit. In the absence of proven scientific research to back this contention, it is always ideal to avoid smoking or vaping altogether. Instead, it is advisable to stick with FDA-approved anti-smoking strategies.

Regardless of whether it poses less harmful effects to one’s health than conventional cigarettes, experts concur that they are by no means safe. Nicotine inhalation puts the person’s dental health and overall well-being at risk.

If you have questions about how e-cigarettes can affect your gums and teeth, consult your dentist right away. Your trusted professional will be your partner in making sound and informed dental decisions.

Hawaii Family Dental has been providing dental services to the whole state of Hawaii since 1986.

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Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

References: 

  • Burgess, K. (2013, September 27). Should You Worry About Second-Hand E-Cig Vapors? Retrieved from Prevention: https://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/should-you-worry-about-second-hand-e-cig-vapors
  • Pereira, D. (2014, August 15). Electronic cigarettes and oral health. Retrieved from Clinicas Propdental SL: https://www.propdental.es/en/blog/dentistry/electronic-cigarettes-oral-health/
  • https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/teen-inhale-cancer-causing-chemicals-e-cigarettes-n853611
  • https://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/vaping-lung-cancer
  • https://www.webmd.com/lung/popcorn-lung#1
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