You’ve seen people vaping, you may even vape yourself. While e-cigarettes have been marketed as safer than smoking, this trend has taken a downward turn with the outbreak of lung injuries that regular vapers have begun to suffer. This revelation shouldn’t come as a shock. When large clouds of vapor envelope the head with every puff, well, that can’t be healthy. Now, the question is: What kind of effect does vaping have on oral health?
E-cigarettes still contain nicotine.
Nicotine is the primary agent in both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes and, of course, is highly addictive. E-cigarettes work by heating nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals to create a water vapor that is inhaled. There are thousands of toxic chemicals in regular tobacco cigarettes and, while e-cigs might have fewer chemicals and promise an absence of smoke and that telltale nicotine odor, they’re still full of toxic chemicals, many of which are not well understood.
Vaping doesn’t make you less likely to smoke.
Vaping is trendy, and it uses flavored tobacco, just like cigars, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco, and cigarillos. A new study from the American Medical Association has found that the younger the person is when they begin using flavored tobacco products, the more likely they are to progress to non-flavored tobacco products later. None of this activity is good for your teeth.
People who vape who might have never bothered with cigarettes.
Because vaping is such a “cool” thing to do, plenty of millennials are taking up the habit. It helps them fit in, they can take awesome selfies, it’s less expensive than traditional cigarettes, it is believed to be less harmful than smoking, and it tastes better than nicotine. The U.S. surgeon general reported in 2015 that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900 percent, and 40 percent of these e-cig users had never smoked regular tobacco.
Vaping increases the risk of oral cancer.
Vaping is hardly a benign habit. A study from the University of Southern California found that e-cigarette users develop some of the same cancer-related molecular changes in oral tissue as cigarette smokers. It is critical to keep your twice annual dental checkups with your Midtown dentist so that you undergo regular oral cancer screenings. Your dentist will notice signs of cancer that you never will.
Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of vaping.
The propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin ingredients in the e-liquid of e-cigarettes contribute to dry mouth, and you can’t just fix that by drinking more water. When your mouth is dry and saliva is not plentiful, the environment is ripe for bacteria, putting you at a far greater risk of developing tooth decay, infections, bad breath, mouth sores, cavities, and gum disease.
Your teeth can become stained from e-cigarettes.
Every tooth has miniscule pits and crevices. It’s in these places where tooth stains develop. Even diligent brushing and flossing cannot always overcome the visible side effects of nicotine. While a professional teeth-whitening treatment might help, keep on vaping and the results won’t be permanent.
If you vape regularly and have no intention of stopping, schedule an appointment at Dr. Wei’s Madison Avenue office in Midtown Manhattan for a checkup and to discuss your oral health and how you can maintain strong teeth and gums and a perfect smile.