Vape continues to rise in popularity on the market. It’s becoming an alternative to smoking, and many are eager to try it. Whether you smoke or intend to try vaping soon, it’s crucial to comprehend how these devices may impact your body, particularly your dental and oral health.
Yes, vaping may be the ideal replacement for smoking cigarettes, but recent studies show that it may bring about issues for oral health at some point.
Is Vaping Dangerous To Oral Health?
When a person vapes, it involves inhaling vape juice or e-liquid, which contains substances that may be detrimental to health, including those labeled as nicotine-free. Some of these substances include:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Heavy metals
- Cancer-causing elements
Remember that the risk of vaping devices triggering issues in your mouth is relatively higher if they include nicotine. Although dentists from https://www.ariadental.net.au/ may help alleviate such problems, they advise limiting vaping to maintain long-term oral health.
The long-term effects of vaping are not yet fully recognized, but some evidence shows that individuals who regularly vape can develop inflammation in the mouth, potentially leading to gum disease and other oral health issues. In initial studies, vaping may bring about adverse effects on oral health. According to one study, vaping alters the bacteria in the mouth, increasing the risk of infection.
Sadly, it can predispose you to the development of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, the heat from a vaporizer and certain components in the liquid utilized in vaping products can contribute to dry mouth. This occurrence can result in mouth sores, bad breath, cavities, and other issues with oral hygiene. A condition known as vape tongue can temporarily cause a person to lose their sense of taste.
For many people, vaping is often considered a way to stop smoking. However, vaping may make it even harder for a person to quit smoking entirely.
Potential Effects Of Vaping On Dental And Oral Health
Vaping is becoming a trend among different age groups, but it may pose health risks similar to regular cigarettes. It may be time to take on a proactive mindset by knowing what it can do to your health. Here are a few potential consequences of vaping on oral and dental health:
1. Tooth Discoloration
Smoking can cause tainted teeth in the long run if you use tobacco products. As for vaping, it’s important to note that some still have nicotine content. With this in mind, you’re still likely to develop tooth discoloration, especially if you regularly have vape sessions.
2. Nicotine-Related Tooth Loss And Gum Disease
Vaping juice or e-liquid contains less nicotine than regular tobacco products. However, it still contains nicotine, and excessive use can lead to the same adverse effects as smoking cigarettes. It is known that nicotine can damage the gums and other oral structures. Aside from tooth decay and discoloration, nicotine-related issues can trigger tooth grinding or bruxism, dry mouth, and gum disease.
Nicotine limits the flow of blood to the gums. It can also disrupt the natural capability of your mouth to deal with infection and restore connective tissue, leading to a higher risk of gum disease and even tooth loss.
The thought of losing your teeth may be enough to change your perspective on vaping. If not, think of the many other complications it can cause. Aside from the nicotine, other components in vape juice may contribute to poor oral health.
3. Possible Injury To The Mouth Due To Overheating And Explosion Of Lithium Batteries
E-cigarettes are equipped with lithium-ion batteries, but they have the potential to explode and cause injury to your mouth and face. The reported cases of exploding e-cigarettes are small and mostly due to incorrect use of the device. Cases involving explosions are typically linked to instances where a person incorrectly charges a device. In some cases, it may be due to using a vape device, specifically a mechanical mod that lacks internal safety features, making it prone to overheating and exploding.
Some cases can be serious enough that individuals require care in an intensive unit. Sadly, such a mishap often leads to obvious disfigurement of the soft oral tissues in the mouth.
4. Tooth Decay Due To Vegetable Glycerin And Flavorings
Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a component of vape juice. It’s a slightly tacky sweetener. And due to its adhesive nature, it allows bacteria to stick to your teeth. Together with the flavorings present in vape juice, it creates the ideal environment for bacteria to multiply in your mouth.
If you look closely, nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and flavoring exposure typically causes tooth decay, infections, and tooth loss.
5. Enamel Loss And Dry Mouth Due To Propylene Glycol
Vape juice mainly comprises several ingredients, such as vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine, flavorings, and water. Propylene glycol (PG) is one of the ingredients you should pay close attention to. Propylene glycol is a colorless, viscous liquid with a fairly sweet flavor.
Despite being safe for consumption and inhalation, it has adverse effects on oral health. The breaking down process of propylene glycol produces several acids, such as lactic acid, acetic acid, and propionaldehyde, all of which are toxic to the tooth enamel and soft tissues. It can also cause dry mouth, characterized by the depletion of saliva, which predisposes you to cavities and gum disease. This happens because PG has hygroscopic properties in which the water molecules in saliva and oral tissues will bond to its molecules, resulting in the drying up of the tissues or desiccation.
Drinking water regularly can help rehydrate your mouth, but it cannot replace saliva, which comprises compounds responsible for protecting the teeth from bacteria that cause tooth decay.
6. Tooth Chipping Or Damage
If you use a vape pen or mod, it’s usually made from either metal or plastic. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful enough when using one, you face a high risk of damaging your teeth. Remember that both materials are durable enough to cause a chip to your teeth.
An example is when you’re vaping while drunk. If you’re not careful in lifting your vape pen to your lips, you might strike one of your teeth instead, causing a chip or even knocking it out of its socket if enough force is involved. In another scenario, if you’re vaping while driving or walking, your teeth can be chipped if you happen to fall, trip, or get into a collision.
All scenarios can potentially result in a chipped tooth or one with severe damage that removal is necessary. If you don’t want to lose your perfect smile, you should be careful when using your vape device.
7. Swelling And Receding Gums
Prolonged vaping can put a person at risk of developing receding and swollen gums. Some of the major components in vaping, including nicotine, can steadily cause the deterioration of the gum tissue, resulting in recession. Additionally, the blood-restricting effect of nicotine is also a contributing factor.
With the recession of the gums, vaping can also irritate the gums, leading to swelling. As the gums become inflamed, they become tender and sensitive. You can keep receding gums to a minimum by regular brushing and using mouthwash several times throughout the day. As for gum swelling, it requires timely treatment by a dentist. If you delay seeking treatment, you risk getting the periodontal disease or other serious conditions.
Ways To Lower The Risk For Dental And Oral Issues Due To Vaping
It might be best to stop using e-cigarettes entirely if you don’t want to experience any risks to your dental or oral health. Vaping continues to grow in popularity, especially among the younger population, but you still need to keep in mind that there’s limited information on the long-term effects the activity can cause. If you have already started vaping, you should take a proactive approach to monitor your health. The best way to start is to visit your dentist regularly to prevent the development of cavities, gum disease, gingivitis, and wear to the enamel, to name a few. Your dentist will also monitor for any early indications of oral cancer.
In one study, continuous use of e-cigarettes may negatively affect the oral cavity. The vapors that vaping generates may trigger alterations or damage the epithelial cells, resulting in the possible formation of oral ulcerations or even oral cancer.
Aside from routine appointments with your dentist, there are also a few things to keep in mind to minimize the impact of vaping on your dental and oral health, such as the following:
- Maintain proper hydration, especially after a vaping session.
- Brush your teeth regularly, ideally twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Complete your oral care routine by flossing your teeth daily as well.
- Always check for red or white patches on your cheeks, gums, and tongue. If you find any irregularities, get in touch with your dentist.
It’s also crucial to remember that specific symptoms may indicate an underlying oral condition. When you experience bleeding or swollen gums, loose teeth, receding gums, mouth sores that don’t heal, or frequent dry mouth, it’s best to see your dentist.
Vaping is becoming the ideal choice for many individuals eager to lessen smoking, but it still has its share of drawbacks that you need to know about. Whether you see vaping as an alternative to tobacco smoking or as a way to unwind, it’s best to learn about its potential effects on your dental and oral health.