Vaping started as an alternative to smoking. It was a way for people to get a nicotine fix and start weaning themselves off traditional cigarettes. In the beginning, it was touted as a “safer” alternative to smoking. However, organizations such as Johns Hopkins and the American Heart Association quickly dispelled that notion. Vaping can still trigger serious health problems and poses significant dangers to the heart and lungs. Another little-known side effect of vaping? The hazard posed to your teeth and oral health.
What is Vaping?
According to Merriam-Webster, “vaping” is inhaling vapor through the mouth after a liquid has been heated by an electronic device.
Vaping can be done by using any of a number of different types of devices. The device itself typically contains a battery, mouthpiece, and a heating component that heats a type of e-liquid cartridge. The battery is what fuels the heating component, which turns the liquid of choice into an aerosol. This aerosol is then inhaled through the mouthpiece of the device and into a person’s lungs. The liquid in these e-liquid cartridges typically contains an array of chemicals, artificial flavorings, and nicotine.
The aerosol vapor that is produced has been found to contain traces of ultra-fine particles of chemicals and heavy metals. According to the American Lung Association, many of the chemicals found in vaping products are known carcinogens.
How Does Vaping Impact Oral Health?
The big question is, how does vaping impact oral health? Vaping can be detrimental to teeth and gums in several different ways. To begin, vaping works by heating up a liquid to the point where it transforms into a gas, which can then be inhaled. The heat produced by this process also heats up the mouth, according to a dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. This heat not only alters the colonies of bacteria present in the mouth but also dries the mouth out. This change in the oral environment can lead to an explosion in the number of harmful bacteria present in the mouth, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.
Vaping with nicotine may also lead to serious dental issues. Organizations have linked nicotine itself with harmful effects on oral health. Nicotine can restrict the blood flow to tissue like the gums and hamper the body’s ability to fight infections. This reaction can increase a person’s risk for gum disease and tooth loss. Vaping and the use of nicotine can also cause chronic irritation and inflammation in the mouth, again, hurting the body’s ability to fight infection.
A recent study also suggests that vaping may increase an individual’s risk of DNA damage. When the DNA of cells is damaged or mutates, a cell can lose its power to divide and grow properly. This can result in advanced cell aging and, ultimately, cell death. This cell death may result in significant oral health problems, such as bone loss, tooth loss, and periodontal disease.
Oral Conditions Associated with Vaping
Some of the negative consequences to vaping can include:
- Dry mouth
- Inflamed or irritated gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bone loss
- Tooth loss
- Decalcification of teeth
- Stained teeth
- Bad breath
If you are concerned that vaping has created problems with your teeth or oral health, it’s not too late to seek help. The team at Babylon Dental Care has extensive experience taking care of a wide range of oral health issues. Our compassionate team can provide a thorough examination and get your dental health back on track.
Protect your smile and call us today at (631) 983-6665 to schedule an appointment with a caring professional at Babylon Dental Care.