We all know that smoking cigarettes cause lasting damage on teeth and gums, but what about vaping? The e-cigarette trend sweeping our nation is relatively new and, as a result, poorly understood. Many people incorrectly believe vaping is better or “healthier” than smoking, but the truth is that vaping poses an enormous threat to the body and mouth as well. Charlottesville dental office, Blue Ridge Family Dentistry, breaks down e-cigarettes impact on our oral health below.
What Is Vaping?
Vaping refers to the use of electronic cigarettes to smoke. E-cigarettes heat a liquid to create an aerosol. The user inhales that aerosol, which typically consists of propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, water, and nicotine. These chemicals create a dangerous cocktail that put users at serious risk, even though it seems “safer” than smoking cigarettes.
Ingredients in Vape Juice Damage Teeth and Gums
The main ingredient in vaping, propylene glycol, is also found in liquid sweeteners and even ice cream. Its faintly sweet taste is appealing, but it breaks down into acetic acid, lactic acid, and propionaldehyde, all of which degrade tooth enamel and the soft tissues of the gums.
Glycerin and e-cigarette flavorings have the same effect. Although they’re odorless and colorless, these ingredients cause microbes to latch onto tooth enamel and break it down. This means that cavity-causing bacteria sticks firmly to the softening teeth of people who vape and trigger widespread tooth decay.
Finally, the effects of nicotine on gum tissue are well documented. Yes, e-cigarettes have less nicotine than traditional cigarettes but most still have nicotine which is both harmful and addictive. Since nicotine decreases blood flow through gum tissue and restricts connective tissue turnover, it puts vapers at a higher risk of developing gum disease and tooth loss.
Oral Side Effects of Vaping
If you vape or know somebody who does, it’s important to understand the oral health risks e-cigarettes can cause. If you have questions, reach out to your Charlottesville VA dentist and gather their take as well. Even if the symptoms appear gradually, vaping can be just as damaging to the mouth as smoking traditional cigarettes:
- Dry mouth
- Inflamed gums
- Periodontal disease
- Tooth and bone loss
- Bad breath
- Advanced tooth decay
Combined with the effects of vaping on the heart, brain and lungs, cessation is really the way to go!
The Customized Dental Care You Need
Quitting vaping is the most important step toward a healthier mouth, but don’t forget to get your dentist involved as well. Blue Ridge Family Dentistry offers extraordinary and comprehensive dentistry to help you overcome the effects of vaping and keep your teeth and gums healthy and vibrant.