When it comes to oral health, new research suggests that the use of E-cigarettes referred to as vaping can be equally as dangerous as traditional cigarettes. The new generation of E-cigarettes have only been developed recently and we are only beginning to understand the risks and its effects.
E-cigarettes work by heating up a liquid using a battery-powered device, to turn it into vapour that users inhale into their lungs. E- cigarettes have been marketed as a healthier option than traditional cigarettes, as well as a means to quit smoking. But it’s shaping up to look otherwise – just because the flavours sound tasty, doesn’t make the inhalation healthy at all.
How does vaping affect your oral health?
- E-cigarette vapour can contain nicotine, ultrafine particles, heavy metals and flavouring chemicals, which can have considerable negative effects on a users oral and overall general health.
- Exposure to e-cigarette aerosols can lead to more bacteria in the mouth, which is associated with increased tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.
- Some E-cigarette base liquids, particularly propylene glycol, can cause dry mouth (Xerostomia). Chronic mouth dryness is associated with bad breath, mouth sores and gum disease.
- Vaping can also cause mouth and throat irritation. Gum symptoms can include tenderness, swelling and redness.
- Bruxism (teeth grinding) – nicotine inhaled during vaping, acts as a stimulant which causes a person to grind. Grinding or clenching teeth regularly, leads to tooth damage.
- Warning. Lithium batteries in e-cigarettes can cause the devices to explode, which makes them unsafe in the mouth, pocket or bag.
If you’re a smoker or a vaper the following recommendations may help to reduce the risk of side effects?
- Limit your nicotine intake or opt for low-nicotine or nicotine-free juices
- Drink water after vaping to avoid dry mouth and bad breath
- Improve your oral health by brushing twice a day and flossing daily to prevent plaque and cavities
- Visit your dentist every six months for a regular check-up and clean
Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule will aid in the early detection and treatment of any underlying condition. We can also give you the advice to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy for years to come—we always want the best for your oral health!