Smoking cigarettes is definitively linked to oral health risks that go far beyond bad breath. Some of the most frightening threats of smoking cigarettes or being exposed to secondhand smoke include stained teeth, dulled senses of taste and smell, gum disease, and oral cancer. Vaping, on the other hand, is often touted as the safer alternative to smoking and said to pose fewer oral health risks, by comparison. However, the jury is still out on the safety of vaping for oral health, as research is still in its infancy.
Some of the possible side effects of vaping to your oral health include:
- Excess bacteria: A 2018 study found that those who vape and were exposed to the e-cigarette aerosol had more bacteria than those who don’t use a vape. Having excess bacteria in the mouth can lead to tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis or periodontitis.
- Dry mouth: The base liquids in vapes, especially propylene glycol, can cause mouth dryness, which is linked to mouth sores and tooth decay.
- Gum inflammation: Irritated, inflamed gums is a reaction to gingivitis or severe periodontitis. Ongoing gum disease can cause the teeth to become loose and fall out, if this progressive disease is left untreated.
- Cell death: Another 2018 study found that live cells in the gums can be killed by vaping aerosols, which increase inflammation and DNA damage. This can compound many other oral health issues, including gum disease, bone loss, tooth loss, tooth decay, and so on.
I Vape. How Can I Reduce the Risks to My Teeth?
If you vape, you will need to take special considerations in caring for your teeth. Your dentist and doctors, of course, would prefer you do not vape at all, but you can lessen the associated risks to your oral health in several important ways.
Always drink water after vaping to avoid dry mouth and bad breath, and brush your teeth twice a day, as usual. Always visit your dentist on a regular basis for the early detection and treatment of any gum or tooth problems. If you start to notice your gums are bleeding or swollen, your mouth is suddenly more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, you have frequent dry mouth, or a toothache, you should see your dentist for a checkup appointment.
Bottomline? Vaping is too new for research to definitively say whether or not it is harmful to oral health, but there are strong suggestions that it is not beneficial. Either way, the “pros” are vastly outweighed by the “cons” when it comes to vaping.
Want to learn more about Austell Dental Associates? Call us at (770) 467-3888 for an appointment.