A new fad is emerging, and it’s supposed to be healthier than the traditional take on smoking tobacco: e-cigarettes or vaping. More and more smokers turning to e-cigarettes under the assumption that they are safer or healthier because they don’t have as many chemicals present. With e-cigarettes more popular than ever (especially among teens), the question remains what is the oral health impact of vaping on your smile? Your dentist is here to give you a dental professional’s perspective here in this week’s blog post.
How are e-cigarettes different from traditional tobacco cigarettes?
Traditional tobacco products contain many toxic chemicals that are well-known to cause various types of cancer, tooth discoloration, plaque buildup, and chronic bad breath. Contrary to traditional tobacco, e-cigarettes produce vapor from a liquid mix. This mixture contains water, nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and ingredients to give it flavor rather than the blackening chemicals found in the normal cigarette.
Is vaping bad for your teeth?
So, the big question remains: are e-cigarettes and vaping bad for your teeth if they don’t have as many chemicals? According to some studies, the vapors and flavoring used in e-cigarettes can cause damage to your soft tissues or even inflammation to your gums.
It was also noted in various studies that the menthol flavor caused trauma to cells even more than the classic tobacco flavor. Additionally, the basic use of nicotine already is known to cause gum recession and periodontal disease. Nicotine holds vasoconstrictor properties which reduce blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen supply to gums. Furthermore, those nicotine cravings can cause your natural saliva production to come to a halt, still causing chronic dry mouth and the dental problems associated with a dry mouth.
As mentioned above, the use of nicotine plays a part of gum disease—masking its symptoms. when you have gum disease there is an increase blood flow in your gums, which causes them to look inflamed and bleed while brushing and flossing. Nicotine reduces the blood flow to your gums, hiding the most well-known signs bleeding of gum disease. This can be misleading patients and their dental professionals to believe that their oral health is in good condition.
It’s Your Decision, but Think About Your Oral Health
The choice to smoke either cigarettes or vape is totally up to you, but as your dentist in Virginia Beach, it’s our job to educate you on your dental health and what affects it. While E-Cigarette manufacturers may claim that their products are much safer than the traditional tobacco product, there are still oral health risks that come with vaping. The overall opinion from dentists and health practitioners alike is to quit all smoking habits—whether it’s vaping or traditional cigarettes.
If you have questions or concerns about how E-Cigarette or tobacco use may be affecting your oral health, feel free to reach out to your local dentist.
About Our Office
Here at Smile Care Family Dentistry, we want to keep your oral health in tip top shape. That’s why we offer oral cancer screenings during your routine dental appointments. This is especially important if you’re a smoker. Learn more about what else is offered during your regular dental visit by contacting us today.