Vaping refers to the use of e-cigarettes, a newer product that is often deemed “safer” than traditional cigarettes and easily recognized as one of the most popular substance use trends among teens. Unfortunately, vaping can still pose serious health threats. When it comes to your oral health, e-cigarettes can be just as harmful as traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol (vapor) that is produced by an e-cigarette or vape pen. These vaporized liquids not only contain nicotine, but also ingredients like propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. When it comes to your smile, these two ingredients are known for damaging tooth enamel, gum tissues and saliva production.
When it comes to nicotine, you should know that one electronic cartridge of vaping liquid contains the same amount of nicotine as up to three packs of cigarettes. Nicotine is highly addictive and also considered a vasoconstrictor, which means it can limit blood supply to the oral tissues. This becomes very important in terms of gum disease risk.
A recent study published in the journal iScience showed that 43% of people using e-cigarettes had gum disease and oral infections! The repeated trauma that vaping causes inside the mouth can make the oral tissues highly susceptible to disease and infection. Furthermore, the nicotine in e-cigarettes can also make it more difficult to diagnose gum disease since the gums don’t get their normal blood supply and may not easily show gingivitis symptoms, such as bleeding, swelling or redness. This can cause vaping patients to suffer from more advanced gum disease, which can cause tooth loss as well as pose serious threats to the rest of the body.
Unfortunately, vaping companies are not making it easy for young consumers to say no. Many are adding flavoring substances to their vaping liquids to entice teens into picking up the bad habit. In fact, nearly 80% of youth who vape say that the appealing taste is one of the primary reasons they do it.
Do you need to kick your vaping habit? Perhaps you have a teenager that you suspect may be using e-cigarettes? At the office of Dr. Tejal Kakade, we value the importance of keeping patients informed about the dangers of vaping. We don’t want this trending habit to ruin your beautiful smile!