Electronic cigarettes and vaping have become very popular in the past few years. The rise in their popularity is partly due to the promise of fewer health risks than traditional cigarettes. What most people fail to realize, though, is that vaping can have a negative impact on your oral health. It is true that vaping doesn’t contain tar like regular cigarettes, but some of the other aspects of vaping can be harmful to your overall dental health.
What is an e-cigarette?
An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, works by heating a liquid and which then becomes a smokable vapor. The liquid is often referred to as vape juice. It’s comprised of different flavorings, glycerin, propylene glycol, and water. Even though vape juice doesn’t contain tar, most of them do contain nicotine.
Is Vaping Dangerous for the Mouth?
Removing the tar does help by eliminating one harmful chemical. However, since the research is still in the early stages, it’s difficult to know the long-term effects that the other ingredients may have on your physical and oral health. Dental professionals at Creekside Dental do know that some of the chemicals used in e-cigarettes can impact your dental health negatively. Here are a few of the potential dental health hazards your Buffalo Grove, IL dentist wants you to be aware of.
When bacteria settle into pits in the teeth, it can lead to tooth decay, and the final result of that can be cavities. Inhaling the vapor from an e-cigarette allows bacteria into your mouth. This is the same as eating sticky, sweet foods. Introducing additional bacteria contributes to the buildup of plaque on the teeth. Vaping may make you more prone to developing cavities, especially if you are not good about practicing good oral hygiene.
Causing Dry Mouth
Some users suffer from dry mouth because of the propylene glycol in vape juice. Dry mouth is more serious than just being annoying. It can lead to other serious dental health problems. Saliva provides a natural defense against bacteria. The heat and chemicals introduced to the mouth during vaping remove some of the natural moisture. When saliva is lacking, it’s easier to develop tooth decay and cavities. Along with dry mouth, you may experience chronic bad breath. You may also suffer from painful sores on gums.
Gum Disease and Vaping
The extra bacteria, along with dry mouth, can harm your gums. Vaping itself introduces chemicals into the mouth that can damage your gums. Many users are learning that they are sensitive to the chemicals contained in e-cigarettes. These chemicals can cause the gums to become inflamed and irritated. If it gets too severe, pockets can develop, the gums can bleed, and then they can recede. These are all early signs of gum disease.
Effects as Bad as Candy
One of the reasons vaping is so popular is the wide assortment of flavors you can obtain. You may notice when someone is vaping, it can smell very sweet. The flavorings used in vape juice can have properties, just like drinks and candies, with lots of sugar. Because of this, vaping can have the same effect on your teeth. It can increase your chances of cavities and tooth decay.
Advice if You Choose to Vape
We’ll have to wait for the studies presently being conducted to learn the long-term effect vaping has on oral health. Even though e-cigarettes are not as harmful to your health as a regular cigarette, they still present some hazards. If you choose to vape, you should be aware of the potential risks to your physical and oral health. Here are a few tips from your Buffalo Grove, IL dental team to help you lessen the dangers posed to your dental health.
- Choose vape juice that doesn’t contain nicotine.
- Drink lots of water to help prevent dry mouth and replace moisture vaping removes.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits like routine brushing and flossing.
- See Dr. William McCune or Dr. John Micaletti for routine visits, checkups, and cleanings.
Contact Creekside Dental
Please contact your Buffalo Grove, IL dental team, if you have any questions about vaping and oral health. Call us today to schedule your next routine exam.