It’s just been over the last few years that the popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping has grown. Many people make the switch from traditional cigarettes because they think vaping and e-cigs pose fewer health risks. However, most don’t realize there can be some hazards presented to your oral health. Vape juice doesn’t have tar, this is true, but there are some other aspects which can be harmful to your gums and teeth.
What is an E-Cigarette?
E-cigarettes are an electronic device that works by heating a liquid. This vape juice turns into a vapor as it becomes hot. Vape juice is made from a mixture of flavorings, glycerin, water, and propylene glycol. Even though vape juice doesn’t contain tar, most of them do contain some nicotine.
Can Vaping Be Harmful to Your Mouth?
Since there isn’t any tar, one harmful chemical has been removed from vape juice. The research to determine if there are any long-term negative effects caused by other ingredients is still ongoing. Whether they are safe or not is not known. However, your Saginaw, MI dentist does know some of the chemicals are harmful to your dental health. Here are a few of the potential hazards users might face:
Bacteria that settle into the bumpy and uneven areas of your teeth, such as pits and crevices, is often responsible for promoting tooth decay, which ultimately leads to cavities. When users inhale the vapor from an e-cigarette, they also bring bacteria into their mouths. This is just as bad for the teeth as eating sugary candies. Bacteria cause plaque buildup in the mouth. Those who use e-cigarettes may find they are more prone to cavities, especially for those who do not maintain good oral hygiene habits.
Leads to Dry Mouth
Some users experience dry mouth, which is primarily caused by propylene glycol. It may sound annoying, but it can lead to other, more serious oral health problems. The saliva in the mouth is a natural defense against bacteria. Vaping presents heat and chemicals into the environment in the mouth. This removes some of the natural moisture. When there isn’t enough saliva, then it is easier for tooth decay to occur. This can also cause more cavities. In some cases, painful sores develop on the gums or other tissue in the mouth. Also, chronic bad breath can become a problem.
Gum Disease and Vaping
When there are excess bacteria, and the mouth is dry, the gums can be affected negatively. Just vaping may be harmful to your gums. Some people develop sores on their gums or in their mouths, and others are sensitive to the chemicals used in e-cigarettes. They often inflame and irritate the gums. If the case is severe, the gums might develop pockets, bleed, and recede. These are all signs of gum disease.
One of the things that makes vaping popular is the many different flavors you can choose from. Maybe you noticed how sweet the vapor from e-cigarettes can be. The flavorings, however, contain the same properties as sweet drinks and candy. The bad thing is, they also have the same effects on the teeth. That means an increased chance of both cavities and tooth decay.
If You Are Choosing to Vape
Please note that while e-cigarettes may not have exactly the same harmful effects on your health as traditional cigarettes, vaping can affect your oral health. There are some hazards. Your Saginaw, MI dental team wants you to be aware of the potentially harmful effects on your oral and physical health. Here are a few tips to help lessen the dangers if you choose to vape.
- Avoid vape juice that contains nicotine.
- Drink lots of water to replace the moisture vaping removes from the mouth.
- Continue good oral hygiene habits.
- Keep your regular dental checkups and cleanings as scheduled.
Please contact Dr. Schau and the team if you have any questions about the effect of vaping on your oral health. And please schedule your next checkup with Dr. Jennifer Schau. Maintaining good oral health is our priority.