As vaping continues to increase in popularity among former smokers, current smokers, and even non-smokers, it is important to understand the impact of vaping on your dental health. While touted to be a healthier alternative to smoking, using e-cigarettes or vapes do not offer any benefit to your dental health on their own.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is the action of using a handheld device which heats a liquid consisting of propylene glycol, glycerine, flavorings, and nicotine into a vapor and inhaling it. It has become popular as a way to quit smoking, however, many parenting and health advocacy organizations are beginning to object to vaping due to its appeal on younger adults who may not be using it as a tool to quit smoking.
For individuals who are non-smokers, there are no health benefits in starting vaping.
How Does Vaping Affect My Health?
The majority of solutions that are used in vaping contain nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance which causes multiple negative impacts when consumed. Nicotine has been shown to contribute to gingivitis (gum disease) and periodontitis (gum infection). Additionally, nicotine may mask the bleeding associated with gingivitis, making it harder to diagnose and treat.
Naturally, the best choice is to not use nicotine products. In a study comparing non-users and users of e-cigarettes, users showed greater oxidative stress and increased adrenaline in the heart; two risk factors of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.
Further, the concentration and heat of vapor entering the mouth does cause dryness and irritation. Dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay. The cells that compose your mouth are also at risk. When exposed to vapor, an experiment showed that mouth cells significantly increased the rate of cell death.
How Does Vaping Compare to Smoking?
Because vaping hasn’t had enough time to be studied longitudinally, there isn’t enough research yet to make a perfect comparison between the two. However, preliminary findings have shown that the levels of carcinogens in the bodies of ex-smokers (now vapers) are typically lower than current smokers.
While e-cigarettes or vaporizers may be less harmful than cigarettes, that does not necessarily make them a safe choice. Additional studies performed over longer periods of time are needed to create more conclusive findings.
While many advocates of vaping suggest that it is a better alternative to smoking, most dentists agree that giving up smoking outright, not switching to an alternative is preferred.
Smokers And Regular Dental Checkups
Smokers are at a higher risk for complications to their dental health. Regular check-ups are recommended so your dentist can monitor your oral well-being. If you would like to schedule an appointment, you can do so online. With Hassey | Do Duy Dental Associates, we are always looking out for our patients health and trends that can impact it (like vaping)!