In life, there are plenty of moments that force us to choose between good, better, and best. Circumstances limit many of us from choosing best, and it’s up to us to decide between the good and better. When it comes to smoking, choosing e-cigarettes or vaping is certainly “better” than traditional tobacco products, but not without risks. Today, we’ll be discussing the side effects of vaping and how e-cigarettes can affect your teeth.
The Evolution of Vaping
Originally designed as a way to help smokers quit smoking, the e-cigarette device has picked up in popularity over the years, especially among teenagers. In fact, recent studies show that approximately 10% of high schoolers have used or currently use electronic cigarettes. This is much higher than the adult average, which is only around 2.8%.
A lot of these high schoolers believe that vaping is healthier than smoking traditional cigarettes. And many adults claim to have quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, there are currently no studies that indicate that electronic cigarettes are any less dangerous than traditional cigarettes.
Despite the common misconception that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, more and more young people are continuing to experiment. Electronic cigarettes are a nicotine delivery system that turns e-liquid or “vape juice” into an aerosol vapor that is inhaled.
When it comes to teenagers and vaping, it’s important for parents to note that electronic cigarettes still contain nicotine. There’s no question that nicotine is dangerous for the body, and can have a negative impact on oral health regardless of a vaper’s age.
Side Effects of Vaping
Many people feel safer using electronic cigarettes than they would smoking regular cigarettes, but the end result is actually the same.
Nicotine is still nicotine, no matter how it’s being delivered into the body. With electronic cigarettes being marketed mostly towards young adults and teens, it’s important to educate your children about the dangers of nicotine and how it can affect their bodies, specifically their oral health.
Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
Nicotine causes the blood vessels to narrow, reducing blood flow throughout the body. This restriction leads to many health issues, but one of the main dental health problems caused by reduced blood flow is the increased risk of gum disease and periodontitis.
When less blood is delivered to the gums, fewer nutrients and less oxygen will also be absorbed. This could lead to gum disease, which is accompanied by red and bleeding gums, bad breath, and eventual tooth loss.
Damaged Enamel and Soft Tissue
Propylene glycol (PG) is one of the main ingredients in vape juice. While it’s safe to eat and inhale, oral use breaks down this chemical into a harmful acid that can damage the tooth enamel and irritate the soft tissue around the tooth. PG also impacts the mouth’s saliva production, and dry mouth can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Greater Risk of Tooth Decay
An appealing aspect of e-cigarettes is the wide variety of vape juice flavors. Unfortunately, the sweeteners used in the production of vape juice sticks to the grooves of the teeth and attracts bacteria. The artificial flavorings can also soften the tooth’s enamel, creating a perfect environment for rapid tooth decay.
Take Control of Your Oral Health
If you or someone you know uses e-cigarettes, knowing the side effects of vaping and how they affect your oral health is important. At Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we value your oral health and your overall well-being.
We’d love to discuss how vaping can impact your health and give you the tools you need to save your natural teeth and restore your smile. With offices conveniently located in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, patient-centered care is just a phone call away. Contact our office to schedule your evaluation today!