Why is vaping bad for your teeth?
There are many risks and dangers associated with smoking. Smoking cigarettes can lead to cancer, stroke, heart disease, lung disease and so forth. Moreover, this bad habit is directly related to a host of dental risks like bad breath, tooth discoloration, gum disease, oral cancer and more.
For these reasons, some smokers have turned to electronic cigarettes (or vapes) to consume tobacco. Many people deem e-cigarettes as a generally safer option since they emit fewer toxins than cigarette smoke does. However, this perception has also led to record-breaking numbers of young people who have never smoked before to begin vaping. E-cigarettes are now the most popular tobacco product among children and adolescents.
However, this habit is not without its dangers. For example, the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) states that e-cigarette use is unsafe for youth, young adults, pregnant adults and adults who do not currently use tobacco products. Additionally, many e-cigarettes contain nicotine and other harmful ingredients, which pose known health risks. These risks even translate to various oral health problems. Continue reading to learn more.
Many people use e-cigarettes because they believe vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, vaping can harm your oral health. Here’s why vaping can be bad for your oral health and your overall wellness.
What is vaping?
An e-cigarette is an electronic device that heats a liquid solution to a high temperature to create an aerosol that you inhale. These solutions often contain ingredients like nicotine, a flavoring and a humectant (like propylene glycol). According to the CDC, some harmful ingredients often found in e-cigarette aerosol include:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavorings like diacetyl, a chemical linked to a severe lung disease
- Volatile organic compounds
- Cancer-causing chemicals
- Heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead
6 reasons why vaping is bad for your health
- Dry mouth – E-cigarettes emit an aerosol that is sometimes mistaken for harmless water vapor when in fact, they contain a product called propylene glycol. Propylene glycol contains acetic acid, lactic acid, and propionaldehyde which is a reason for dry mouth. These ingredients are harmful to tooth enamel and the soft tissues of the mouth. The result may be “dry mouth” which is a condition that can increase your chance of gum disease, cavities and other oral health problems.
- Gum disease – Some e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a chemical that is both dangerous and addictive. The American Heart Association states that nicotine, whether it is vaped or smoked, restricts blood flow to the gums, and therefore, causes an increased risk of gum disease. Nicotine harms your oral health by restricting the flow of blood to your gums and soft tissues. This can lead to gum disease and also tooth loss.
- Tooth discoloration – Tar and nicotine from cigarette smoke can cause tooth discoloration. Even though e-cigarettes do not contain tar, some still contain nicotine, which can still stain your teeth.
- Bacterial changes – Vaping can create excess bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay, cavities or even gum disease. The aerosol from e-cigarettes caused a four-fold increase in microbial adhesion to tooth enamel. Many e-cigarette flavorings are sweet, the aerosols they produce also have comparable physical and chemical properties to high-sucrose, gelatinous candies and acidic drinks. Changes to the bacteria can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and different infections, some of which are associated with oral cancer.
- Causes Tooth sensitivity – The chemical vapor from e-cigarettes cause irritation of the gums which can cause them to recede from their position. This, coupled with the nicotine-induced uncontrolled teeth grinding destroys the tooth enamel and makes the teeth sensitive to hot or cold.
- Lithium batteries – Explosions from lithium batteries have been known to cause a variety of severe injuries, including chemical burns, tooth loss and even death.
In December 2019, the American Dental Association issued a statement urging a ban on e-cigarettes not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to help people quit smoking, as well as more research on the effects of vaping on oral health. Electronic cigarettes have been unregulated but legally sold in the United States for more than a decade. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators have approved three e-cigarette products through their new Premarket Tobacco Product Application process. Don’t be fooled into thinking that what looks like steam is a safe alternative to cigarette smoke
Contact the Melissa and Plano Dentist at Haight Family Dentistry
Besides risks to your oral health an outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping has occurred. If you use a vape, we urge you to consider quitting to protect your oral health. Talk with your dentist about a smoking cessation method that would work best for you. If you have questions about vaping and your oral health, contact Haight Family Dentistry in at our Plano or our Melissa, TX by calling 972-527-5555 or request an appointment online.