Vaping is often promoted as a “healthier” alternative to tobacco products containing nicotine, such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. But despite the marketing campaigns pushing for vaping as a “safe” alternative to tobacco products, the fact is that it can have some serious negative consequences for your oral health. In this blog from Cornerstone Dentistry, we’ll take a look at what we know about vaping and oral health.
Vaping Can Cause Oral Health Issues That Contribute To Cavities & Gum Disease
Vaping is still a relatively new phenomenon compared to smoking cigarettes or using oral tobacco. And while more studies are in the works to study the effects of vaping on your mouth and on your body, the fact is that we already know that it can contribute to your risk of serious oral health issues. Here’s how.
- Vape “juice” still contains nicotine – Vape “juice” contains high levels of nicotine, and the fact that it’s easier to inhale and consume vapor compared to tobacco means that people may actually take in more nicotine compared to people who are using other types of tobacco products.
Nicotine is a known carcinogen, and contributes to your risk of oral cancer. It also restricts blood flow to the gums and oral tissue, which can make it harder for your mouth to fight back against bacterial infections. This, in turn, raises your risk of periodontal disease and other such oral health problems.
- Propylene glycol (PG) contributes to dental issues – In addition to other chemicals and compounds, most vape juices contain propylene glycol, also known as PG for short. This product is often used in ice cream, sweeteners, and other food products.
It’s not dangerous to consume, but when it breaks down, it creates a number of different types of acids, which are toxic to enamel and soft tissue. This means that your overall oral health can deteriorate due to prolonged use of vaping products.
- Vaping can cause dry mouth – Another major risk factor of vaping is that it contributes to a dry mouth and decreases saliva production, which is an essential part of a healthy mouth. Dry mouth or “xerostomia,” can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
This is because saliva helps neutralize acids and washes away food debris and other particles from your oral cavity. If you cannot produce enough saliva to deal with these threats, your risk of oral disease will increase dramatically.
Overall, the effects of vaping and “e-cigarettes” on your oral health are very dangerous. A study in the journal iScience showed that about 43% of people who vaped had gum disease or oral infections.
This was less than among smokers (73%), but much higher than the percentage in people who did not smoke or vape (28%). So while vaping may not be quite as bad for your mouth as traditional tobacco use, it’s still a bad habit that can seriously harm your oral health.
Quit Vaping To Preserve Your Oral Health – And Get A Checkup Today!
If you want to maintain a strong and healthy mouth, you should quit vaping. In addition, you should make sure to get an oral exam in Covington from Cornerstone Dentistry. Dr. Keleigh Lascari can examine your mouth to look for signs of oral infections and gum disease, and create a plan to restore your oral health. Contact us online or call now at (985) 869-8020 to get started right away.