Vaping, which is the practice of inhaling flavored tobacco from a battery-powered device, is increasingly popular, especially among college students. People have been transitioning to vaping from cigarette smoking, in an effort to wean themselves away from their tobacco addiction.
But The New Yorker reports that teenagers have taken up vaping “as a new kind of bad habit.” They say the sales market for these products is increasing this year by 25% in 2018, to 5.5 billion dollars.
Like cigarettes, though, vaping passes chemicals through the oral passages. We were wondering and thought you might, too, how vaping affects your dental health. Let’s take a look.
Is Vaping Dangerous?
The device that delivers the vape is an electronic machine that takes liquid nicotine, which is often flavored with things like vanilla or cucumber, into the lungs. Interestingly, the concept of vaping is so new there’s not a lot of scientific research out there to tell us if vaping has health risks.
A recent article on the Colgate website documents that The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, which is part of the National Institute of Health, has called for more research of the effects of e-cigarette chemicals on the gums and mouth tissue of the people that use it.
However, there are a few side effects of vaping that cause concern in dentists. One is that vaping dries out the mouth tissues. Our saliva is actually a natural kind of tooth wash; dry mouth means that teeth are more susceptible to cavities and dental disease.
We already know that nicotine causes cancer. Around 90% of the people with mouth cancer, were regular smokers. In fact, smokers are six times more likely to develop these cancers.
Too, we know that vaping also brings people in close contact with nicotine. Nicotine reduces blood flow by constricting blood vessels in the mouth. This means all of those sensitive tissues in your mouth are not getting oxygen and nutrients while you are vaping. One concern we have is that the gums could begin to recede which can lead to periodontal disease.
Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal; reducing blood circulation in the mouth will reduce that natural benefit.
Spotting the Signs of Gum Disease
If you vape, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get gum disease. However, it does mean there is an increased risk of developing these problems. Here are some symptoms to watch for:
- Consistent halitosis (bad breath)Irritated, red, or bleeding gums.
- Gum swelling and tenderness
- Loose teeth
- Gum tissue that has receded from the tooth
Vaping has some good points; it seems to be a good way for people to step down from traditionally cigarette smoking, which is always a good thing. It also cuts down on the harm that second-hand smoke causes to non-smokers. However, when making the decision to take up vaping, make sure you’re regularly visiting your Las Vegas dentist for check-ups.
If you haven’t seen your Las Vegas dentist recently, contact us. Our team is standing by with the latest information on vaping and the best tools to help you stay healthy long-term.