Is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth?
You or someone you know might vape. It's seen as the new alternative to smoking, and its proponents are quick to argue that it's also healthier. But is it bad for your teeth? Before we can answer this, we'll need to talk a bit about how vaping works.
How Does Vaping Work?
A vape pen, also known as an e-cigarette, is an electronic device marketed as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Vapes are filled with a "juice" that is vaporized and inhaled as opposed to traditional cigarettes, which produce tobacco smoke.
Vape juice is made up of several ingredients including nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, water, and artificial flavorings. This juice also comes in a variety of flavors, making it appealing to those who dislike the smoky smell and aftertaste of cigarettes.
Proponents claim that vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes. The reality is that it can be equally damaging, if not more so. Here's why.
It's Still Nicotine
One important thing to note is that most vape juice still contains nicotine. In fact, you're actually getting more nicotine when you vape. That's because smoking burns away a good portion of the nicotine in a cigarette. With a vape, you're ingesting every last drop of that nicotine. This nicotine is just as addicting as it is in cigarettes. There's really no difference besides the fact that you're getting more of it.
How Does Nicotine Affect You Oral Health?
So there's a lot of nicotine in vape juice. How does that affect your oral health? Let's take a look:
- It's a carcinogen that can damage your DNA and lead to oral cancer among a number of other cancers.
- It reduces blood flow to your mouth, causing wounds to heal slower and denying your gums the nutrients they need to remain healthy.
- It dries out your mouth, leading to an environment where bad bacteria can flourish and plaque can build up unhindered.
Overall, it's not very pretty. And that's not all your vape has in store for you.
The Danger of Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is a colorless and odorless chemical that, while safe to ingest, can be harmful when used orally. It's also commonly found in vape juices. The main issue with propylene glycol as it relates to oral health is that it can dry out the mouth. Dry mouth is a major contributor to poor oral health, as saliva is essential in cleaning the teeth and maintaining a healthy smile.
Vaping And Gum Disease
While vaping is still relatively new, we can be confident in saying that it increases your risk of gum disease. The ingredients are all there. Even if everything else in vape juice would be considered to be perfectly safe, there's still the nasty matter of the nicotine content. In addition, the perception that vaping is safe or healthy in any way could lead to users being surprised by just how bad their oral hygiene gets as they age.
The bottom line is that vaping is bad for your teeth. Unfortunately, many users are taken in by the fact that it's not tobacco. Even if it were marginally better for your teeth and your overall health than smoking cigarettes, it's not a habit that you should pick up. No amount of brushing or flossing can undo the damage it does.
If you have been vaping and want to check on the damage it has done to your oral health, call Caven Dental today to schedule an appointment.
June 11, 2019 | by Richard Caven