A smoker isn’t oblivious to the great dangers of smoking cigarettes. But, that still doesn’t mean a smoker is willing to give it up just yet. Giving up nicotine is too hard and too stressful. Most nicotine users who strive to quit or perhaps reduce their daily nicotine intake invariably turn towards such alternatives as vaping for lesser damage to their health. After its invention in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, and being sold for the first time in 2004, e-cigarettes or vape have witnessed a constant rise in popularity and usage among cigarette smokers as a result of its low tar content in the vapor they smoke. As an alternative to traditional smoking, vaping is certainly safer. But, does it really have zero effects on your oral health?
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Potential Harms on oral health
Health Canada, in 2009, issued a warning to its citizens, asking them not to use or purchase electronic smoking products as they haven’t been thoroughly studied for its health effects. Although vaping aims to minimize the harmful effects of cigarettes, it still poses risks to your oral and overall health. Nicotine contacting your oral cavity through traditional cigarette and e-cigarettes have similar effects on your teeth and gums. Nicotine stains the teeth, damages its enamel and makes your smile look less desirable. Nicotine, in any form, dries up the mouth and its salivary ducts. This causes bad breath, a gradual decaying of your teeth, and can lead to the appearance of lesions on the tongue.
Vaping and gum recession
The aerosol or vapor from an e-cigarette contacts the mouth when it’s at its hottest. Intake of nicotine and other harmful compounds at temperatures of up to 150°C increase the harm caused by nicotine. Nicotine, being a vasoconstrictor, reduces the amount of blood flow to the gums. This results in gum tissues becoming inflammed and receeded and eventually leads to bone loss which exposes the crown (and root of the tooth).This increases the accumulation of plaque and calculus which causes gingivitis and periodontitis.
Nicotine and oral cancer
Current evidence shows that vaping is an increasingly potential gateway to conventional cigarette smoking, especially in young people; and may increase the risk of heart damage, stroke and cancer in similar ways to traditional cigarette smoking. Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that flows to the gums, causing the symptoms of any gum disease to get worse.
If you have been using vape as an alternative to traditional cigarettes and are concerned about the consequences of vaping on your oral health, speak to our dentist at Signature Smilez . Contact us to get started.