Vaping has recently become increasingly popular as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Initially, many people believed that vaping was a safe alternative to cigarettes. Still, now that there has been time to gather data and see long-term effects, we know that vaping can definitely have a negative impact on your health. There is still much research to do, but the current data tells us much of what we need to know. Before we look at how vaping affects your oral health, let’s go over what vaping even is.
What is Vaping?
Vapes, also known as E-Cigarettes, are pocket-sized electronic smoking devices. A battery vaporizes a liquid concoction of chemicals that are inhaled. The liquid is typically a mixture of water, flavoring, a base of propylene glycol or glycerin, and sometimes nicotine. According to the American Lung Association, even the liquids that claim to be nicotine-free can contain trace amounts of the chemical. In addition to this, when this mixture is heated up, it creates other harmful chemicals & substances.
Vapes have also been known to contain:
- Diethylene Glycol
- Metals such as lead, nickel, and tin.
How Does Vaping Affect Dental Health?
In short, vaping is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes; however, there are adverse effects that impact your oral health. A study showed excess bacteria found on the teeth of those who had used e-cigarettes compared to non-users. The vaporized liquid also dries out your mouth, leading to bad breath, tooth decay, and sores. Nicotine is known to restrict blood vessels and cause them to shrink. Vaping can cause your gums to become irritated & inflamed due to the nicotine’s effect on the blood vessels. This inflammation can lead to periodontal disease and, if left untreated, can lead to loss of teeth. The same 2018 study that we mentioned earlier also found that the flavoring in the “vape juice” is similar to sugary foods and drinks in that it could lead to an increase in cavities. Though at a lesser intensity, you can expect all the same dental health issues from vapes as from cigarettes. If you vape regularly, drink a lot of water, avoid e-liquids that contain nicotine, brush and floss your teeth every day, and see a dentist regularly.
We all expected this to be the answer to the initial question: YES vaping is bad for your dental health. Vaping has been found to have negative effects on your teeth, gums, tongue, mouth, and lungs. The chemicals in the e-liquid or vape juice are typically to blame. Let’s recap by going over some of the dangerous substances that have been found in e-cigarettes:
- Propylene glycol
- Diethylene glycol
- Heavy metals
That’s a pretty gnarly list considering some of the items included. To name a few: Benzene is a volatile compound found in car exhaust. Acrolein is an herbicide that causes damage to the lungs. Diacetyl is linked to lung disease. Diethylene glycol is used in antifreeze and is also linked to lung disease. There’s more than just what’s in your mouth that gets negatively impacted by vaping. Some of the issues specifically regarding oral health include dry mouth, bad breath, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and cavities. If you vape regularly, it is exceedingly important to take good care of your dental hygiene.
If you start experiencing severe discomfort or irregularities after prolonged vaping, contact a dental professional to ensure that you get the proper care. Vaping may not be as harmful as smoking cigarettes, but it is still definitely problematic for your teeth and overall dental health.