14 Jun Vaping vs. Smoking: Effects on Oral Health
When electronic cigarettes began to infiltrate the market, smokers hailed them as a fabulous tool to help them give up tobacco. If this were the primary reason for their use, that might be acceptable. Unfortunately, for many tobacco users this merely became a substitute believing that this was a much safer way to “smoke” without the ill effects from tobacco. Your dentist would certainly tell you differently.
What Is Vaping?
Vaping is when a person inhales and exhales an aerosol vapor produced by an electronic cigarette. The individual uses a small device that resembles a cigarette, a vape pen, or some other device that uses a cartridge that contains the liquid or juice, a heating component powered by a battery, and a mouthpiece. The liquid is heated during use and turns it into an aerosol that produces a vapor when inhaled and expelled.
While regular tobacco products contain nicotine, carcinogens and chemicals, the products used in vaping also contain chemicals and nicotine; and while there is no tobacco used with vaping, the impact on oral health could be just as damaging as smoking cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe.
How Does Vaping Affect Oral Health?
No matter what your method, if you are introducing nicotine into your body, you are negatively impacting your dental health. Nicotine restricts blood flow depriving your gums of the oxygen and nutrients required to stay healthy. This means that you are increasing the likelihood of developing gum disease when either vaping or smoking.
Your dentist may see signs that you are developing gum disease, but things you can watch out for include bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, bright red or swollen gum tissue, or teeth feeling loose or appearing to pull away from gums.
Any of these conditions warrant immediate treatment from your dentist. Failure to treat early signs of gum disease can result in the onset of periodontitis … this ultimately can lead to tooth loss.
While research continues on the impact of vaping on your dental health, the excuse that you are vaping to help quit tobacco use for good is just substituting one bad, expensive habit for another. So follow the advice of your dentist and eliminate smoking and vaping to protect your oral health.