Over the last few years, vaping and electronic cigarettes have become popular. One reason for this is that there is the perception that there are fewer risks associated with them as opposed to smoking tobacco. However, many fail to realize how the chemicals in e-cigarettes can affect one’s oral health. Now, it is true the tar in cigarettes is not present in vape juice, but there are other elements that may be harmful to the teeth and gums.
Is there anything harmful in an e-cigarette?
An e-cigarette works by heating liquid vape juice. When it is heated, it turns into a vapor. This liquid mixture is made up of water, glycerin, propylene glycol, and flavoring. Even though vape juice doesn’t have the tar just like a cigarette does, many e-cigarettes do still contain nicotine.
The good news is, that tar is the one chemical that is harmful to your oral health, and it’s been removed from vape juice. Research is still underway to learn more about the long-term effects of other substances used in vaping. So no one knows for sure. However, dental professionals at Oasis Dental in Ardmore will tell you that there are chemicals present in e-cigarettes that can impact your dental health negatively. Let’s take a look at some of the negative impacts of vaping to your oral health.
Potential Hazards of e-Cigarettes
One of the leading contributors to tooth decay that leads to cavities is bacteria. When you inhale vape juice, bacteria enter the mouth. This bacteria can settle into the divots and crevices in the teeth. Introducing these bacteria into the mouth is almost like eating sweet foods and candies. The bacteria contribute to the plaque buildup and can lead to problems with cavities, especially if you don’t practice good oral health habits.
Vape juice contains propylene glycol, which can cause dry mouth for some individuals. It may seem like dry mouth is just a little bit annoying. However, this can lead to oral health problems. The saliva in your mouth provides a natural defense against bacteria. The heat and chemicals entering the mouth during vaping remove some of the natural moisture. When the mouth lacks enough saliva, it can encourage tooth decay and increase the risk of developing cavities. You may also be prone to developing sores on your gums or the side of your mouth. Sores are another side effect of having dry mouth. Plus, you are more likely to have chronic bad breath.
Dry mouth and extra bacteria can have a negative impact on your gum health. But just the act of vaping can harm your gums. Along with the sores that come with dry mouth, comes the possibility of being sensitive to the chemicals contained in e-cigarettes. It’s possible they can cause inflammation of the gums. If it gets too severe, the gums can bleed, pockets develop, and the gums recede. These are the early warning signs of periodontal disease.
If You Want to Continue Vaping
The results of studies are still undetermined when it comes to the effect of e-cigarettes or vaping and oral health. They are certainly not as harmful as regular cigarettes, but there are still some hazards associated with their use. It’s important to know the risks involved in vaping. And, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the dangers to your oral health.
- Limit (or totally avoid) nicotine. You can choose vape juice that does not contain nicotine and reduce the risks drastically.
- Drink more water to replace the moisture that vaping removes from your mouth. If you can prevent or get rid of dry mouth, you can prevent several potential problems, including bad breath.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits. Your best defense against oral health issues is routine brushing and flossing.
- See your Ardmore, PA dental professional regularly for checkups and cleanings.
If you choose to vape, please keep your regularly scheduled visits with Dr. Speiler at Oasis Dental. Let him help you stay ahead of the issues that can arise if you vape. Contact our offices today to speak with a dental professional about vaping and oral health.