Over the last few years, electronic cigarettes and vaping have become more popular. Most choose to vape as an alternative to traditional cigarettes because they feel it poses fewer health risks than tobacco. Since vape juice doesn’t contain tar, it’s presented as a healthier option. However, most don’t realize the threat vaping may pose to one’s oral health.
Components of an E-cigarette
An e-cigarette works by heating a liquid, that’s called vape juice. When the liquid is heated, it becomes a vapor. The liquid in vape juice is a mixture of flavorings, glycerin, propylene glycol, and water. Vape juice doesn’t contain any tar, but like cigarettes, many varieties contain nicotine.
Is Vaping a Safe Choice for Your Mouth?
Without the tar, e-cigarettes have at least one less chemical to harm your oral health. However, the research on the long-term effects of the other components of vape juice is still early. So, there’s nothing definitive stating how safe or unsafe they are. However, your Bernardsville, NJ dentist does know that some of the chemicals used in vape juice can have a negative impact on dental health. Here are a few of the potential dental health hazards from vaping.
Increased Bacteria in the Mouth
When bacteria settle into the pits, cracks, and crevices of the teeth, it can cause tooth decay, which results in cavities. When you inhale the vapor into your mouth, you are bringing bacteria in with it. This bacteria is just as dangerous as eating sugary foods and can lead to a buildup of plaque in the mouth. Those who vape may find they are more prone to cavities, especially if they don’t maintain good oral hygiene habits.
Dry Mouth and Bad Breath
For some users, the propylene glycol in vape juice can cause dry mouth. This may sound like just an annoyance, but it can contribute to serious oral health problems. Your saliva provides a natural defense that fights bacteria in the mouth. Vaping presents heat and chemicals into the environment in the mouth, and this decreases the mouth’s natural moisture. When saliva is lacking, it’s easier for tooth decay to occur and for cavities to develop. You may also experience sores on the tissue and gums in the mouth as a side effect to dry mouth. Plus, chronic bad breath is common with those suffering from dry mouth.
Periodontal Disease and Vaping
Extra bacteria and having dry mouth can have a negative impact on the gum’s health. Vaping may damage gum tissue directly as well. Many users have found they are sensitive to the chemicals used in e-cigarette vape juice. These chemicals can irritate and inflame gums. In more severe cases, gums may bleed and recede. These are some of the earliest symptoms of periodontal disease.
As Bad As Candy
The wide variety of fun flavors is one thing that makes vaping popular. The aroma of an e-cigarette can be a very sweet smell. The flavorings used to make vape juice often contain the same properties as drinks and candy with lots of sugar. The bad thing is, vape juice can also have the same negative effect on the teeth. They can increase the chances of both tooth decay and cavities.
What if you choose to vape?
Studies to determine the long-term impact of vaping on oral health are still underway. Even though many people believe e-cigarettes are not considered as harmful as regular cigarettes, there are still hazards. It’s important to be familiar with the risks posed to both your physical and dental health by e-cigarettes. Here are a few suggestions from Dr. John Kellam for ways that may minimize some of the potential dangers to your dental health.
- Choose vape juice that doesn’t contain nicotine.
- Drink more water to replace the moisture lost during the vaping process. It can help prevent dry mouth and reduce bad breath.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits. Routine brushing and flossing are a good defense for your mouth’s health.
- Schedule regular appointments with Bernardsville Dental Care for checkups and cleanings.
Do you have questions about vaping and oral health? Have you already experienced some of these symptoms? Schedule an exam with Bernardsville Dental Care to discuss your oral health today.