Vaping and e-cigarettes have become very popular over the last few years. One reason for this surge of popularity is the promise of fewer health risks than those posed by cigarettes. However, many people do not consider how the chemicals in an -e-cigarette can negatively impact your oral health. The liquid used in vaping does not contain the tar associated with cigarettes, but other aspects can still be harmful to oral health.
What is in E-Cigarettes?
An e-cigarette works by heating a liquid, which is called vape juice. When the vape juice reaches a specific temperature, it turns into vapor. The liquid made especially for vaping includes water, flavorings, glycerin, and propylene glycol. It has no tar, unlike regular cigarettes, but most types of vape juice do contain nicotine.
Is Vaping Safe for Mouths?
At least removing the tar takes out one chemical that’s harmful to your mouth. However, the studies to determine the long-term effects of the other chemicals in vape juice are still being conducted. It’s not yet clear how safe they may be. What your San Pablo dental team does know, is that some of the chemicals in vape juice do harm your oral health. Here are a few of the potential hazards.
When bacteria settle in the grooves and pits of the teeth, it leads to tooth decay and cavities. When vaping, you inhale the vapors and bring bacteria into the mouth with them. It has the same effect as eating sticky, sweet foods. Excessive bacteria in the mouth also contribute to plaque buildup. Users often find they are more prone to cavities, especially if they do not maintain good oral hygiene.
Some users may experience dry mouth due to the propylene glycol in e-cigarettes. It may not sound serious, but it is annoying and can lead to other serious problems. The saliva provides a natural defense against bacteria. Vaping removes some of the moisture leaving your mouth vulnerable to developing cavities and tooth decay. Other side effects from dry mouth include painful sores in the mouth and chronic bad breath for some.
Vaping and Periodontal Disease
Having extra bacteria in your mouth, along with dry mouth can have adverse consequences on your gum health. Vaping itself can harm gum tissue too. Some users have found they are sensitive to the chemicals used in vape juice. This can cause the gums to become irritated and inflamed. If it is a serious case, the gums may develop pockets, bleed, or recede. These are all signs of gum disease.
One of the things so appealing about vaping is the wide variety of flavors available. If you’ve been around someone who is vaping, you probably noticed the sweet aroma. The flavorings used to make vape juice have the same properties and present the same problems as sugar-filled drinks and candy. This, of course, means they contribute to a higher risk of cavities and decay.
If You Choose to Vape
There are studies still being conducted to determine the full impact of vaping on oral health. Even though e-cigarettes are not deemed by many users to be as harmful as a regular cigarette, they do still present some problems. If you choose to vape, just be aware of the possible risks. Your San Pablo dentists have a few tips to help you lessen the risks of vaping.
- Avoid using vape juice that has nicotine.
- Drink extra water to offset the reduced moisture in the mouth.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing every day.
- Continue seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
Please contact your San Pablo Dental Care team if you have any questions about vaping and its effect on your oral health. Drs. Edwin Kim and Jacqueline Lee will be happy to answer your questions.