What Is Vaping?
Vaping involves the use of an e-cigarette, a device that can resemble real cigarettes, pens or even flash drives. The devices work by heating a liquid solution to produce an aerosol vapor that is inhaled by the user. The inhaled vapor is made of several chemicals, including nicotine. While nicotine isn’t as harmful as tobacco, it is still highly addictive and can have a negative impact on your health.
Harmful Effects of Vaping on Your Mouth
Although vaping does eliminate health concerns associated with tobacco, it doesn’t make it a safe option. The unstudied chemicals found in e-cigarettes can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums.
- Vaping can harm your gum tissues. Like traditional cigarettes, the liquid used in e-cigarettes contains varying levels of nicotine. Research shows that nicotine can increase the risk of gum disease by restricting blood flow to your gums. As a result, this makes it more difficult for your gum tissue to fight off infections and bacteria.
- Vaping causes dry mouth. A chemical used in vaping liquid called propylene glycol is known to cause mouth dryness. Chronic dry mouth puts you at an increased risk for gum disease and tooth decay, and it is also linked to bad breath and mouth sores.
- Vaping increases the risk for cavities. When it comes to e-cigarette liquids, there are numerous flavors available. Unfortunately, as the vapor is inhaled through the mouth, the sweet flavors can adhere to the surfaces of teeth the same way other sugars do. As a result, plaque formation increases in the mouth and enamel strength decreases, both of which can lead to tooth decay. Additionally, vaping may also contribute to enamel stains and tooth sensitivity, as teeth are exposed to the aerosol vapor over time.
Talk to Your Dentist About Vaping
If you do vape, it is important that you stay on top of your oral hygiene and visit your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups. Diligent brushing, daily flossing and regular cleanings can go a long way to keep your smile healthy and strong.
If you do develop side effects due to vaping, they will be much easier to treat in the early stages. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your dentist right away:
- Receding gumline
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
- Mouth pain or toothache
- Changes in tooth sensitivity to temperature
- Chronic mouth sores or sores that don't heal in your mouth
- Chronic dry mouth
- Loose teeth
Ultimately, the best way to keep your smile bright and your mouth healthy is to give up smoking cigarettes and vaping altogether. Both types of cigarettes can cause oral health problems and lead to serious issues with your teeth and gums in the long run.