Laughing, smiling, eating, drinking, talking– are some of the most enjoyable things in life. Together they give us a reason to take the best possible care for our teeth and gums in order to achieve and maintain a healthy mouth.
Most know that brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing once per day, avoiding sugary foods and regular check-ups at the dental office are key components to oral care. It is also widely known that tobacco smoke can be extremely harmful to the mouth. Not only does it stain your teeth, but it also increases your risk for gum disease, bad breath and oral cancers.
But what about vaping?
Being a relatively new habit and a hot topic, information is now gradually emerging of the harm it can do to both our oral and overall health. Using e-cigarettes, or ‘vaping’, work by heating up a liquid to make an aerosol. The liquid typically contains several chemicals, including propylene glycol, nicotine, glycerin, flavorings, and water.
- Propylene glycol breaks down in the mouth to form harsh chemicals that attack the dental enamel and are toxic to the gums.
- Nicotine reduces blood that flows to the gums bringing nourishment the tissues. Nicotine also inhibits the action of our immune defense cells, enabling the bacteria in dental plaque to do more harm to the gums and bone around the teeth.
- Glycerin (a commonly used sweetener) and flavorings encourage cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to the teeth, leading to faster growth of dental plaque and cavities.
Vaping increases your risk of:
- Dental decay, or cavities
- Acid erosion of the dental enamel
- Inflamed and bleeding gums – gingivitis and periodontitis
- Bad breath
Vaping can be just as dangerous to your mouth as tobacco smoking. If you are a tobacco user, there are many safer and healthier ways to quit than to adopt e-cigarettes. If you, or someone close to you, are already using e-cigarettes you should have your mouth checked by a dentist.
For advice about vaping and your mouth health, call 855-PHD-CARE to consult one of our dental providers.