VAPING AND ORAL HEALTH
While we all know that smoking tobacco cigarettes is bad for us, the sale of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed. Vaping is often marketed as being a safer, healthier alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. But when it comes to your health, is vaping really better than smoking?
What Exactly is Vaping?
Vaping simply means smoking an e-cigarette. E-cigarettes use an aerosol, or vapor, to deliver nicotine into the lungs. The term vaping is used because e-cigarettes don’t produce tobacco smoke. They produce an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor that actually consists of fine particles. Many of these particles contain toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, respiratory disease, and heart disease.
What are the Health Risks of Vaping?
Just because you are not smoking tobacco, does not mean that you are not inhaling nicotine. Nicotine is delivered through vaping, therefore all of the health problems associated with nicotine are still present when vaping, such as:
- The Impact it has on the health of your lungs and DNA
- The damages caused to your blood cells
- The increased risk of heart disease
- The negative impacts on your immune system
What are the Dental Health Risks from Vaping?
Receding Gums – Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that flows through your veins. Without sufficient blood flow, your gums don’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. And that’s how it causes your gums to recede.
Lack of Saliva Production – Nicotine prevents your body from producing saliva. Not enough saliva leads to bacteria buildup, dry mouth, and tooth decay.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) – Nicotine acts as a stimulant that fires up the muscles. Bruxism is a condition in which you regularly grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. When left untreated, bruxism can lead to tooth damage and other oral health complications.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease – Since vaping introduces nicotine into your body just like smoking tobacco, it does increase your risk for gum disease.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Ongoing bad breath (halitosis)
- Red, irritated, or bleeding gums
- Tender or swollen gums
- Wiggly or loss of teeth
- Recession of gum tissue
It all boils down to the fact that vaping has health risks and that vaping and oral health are linked. It’s a misperception to believe that e-cigarettes are healthier than tobacco cigarettes. You are still inhaling toxic chemicals into your body.
If you’re a smoker or vaper, it’s extremely important to come see us and stay on top of your regular dental check-ups.