Vaping is a relatively new trend that has given smokers a supposedly safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Liquid (or “vape juice”) is heated by the electronic vaping device, producing a vapor that is then inhaled orally. Some vape juices contain nicotine, but others are created just for enjoyment and flavor. Due to the short amount of time that these products have been on the market, there is no telling what the long-term effects of vaping are. However, from a dental standpoint, it has been established that using smokeless e-cigarettes can lead to poor oral health.
What Vaping Can Do to Your Mouth
Current research shows that vaping may be less detrimental to your health than smoking cigarettes. That does not, however, indicate that it is free of consequences. While some studies show that e-cigarettes may produce fewer byproducts than regular tobacco use, they can still cause or aggravate the following unhealthy conditions:
- Dry mouth: This is a common side effect of vaping that can trigger a host of dental problems. Dry mouth is associated with tooth decay, bad breath, oral discomfort, and a compromised sense of taste.
- Gum inflammation: The vapor produced by e-cigarettes can irritate the sensitive tissues in the mouth, including the gums and throat. Inflammation exposes the gums to bacteria, which can lead to severe dental conditions.
- Periodontal disease: Because many vaping “juices” contain nicotine, they can reduce blood flow similar to how cigarettes do. Poor circulation is a contributor to periodontal disease, as it interferes with the body’s ability to fight bacteria.
The Bottom Line
If you are torn between smoking cigarettes and vaping, it would seem that vaping is the safer option. However, both of these activities can be bad for your oral health, so they should be avoided. Be sure to visit your dentist at least once every six months for a dental exam, and communicate any of your concerns to obtain the appropriate treatment you need as soon as possible.
If you want to learn more about the risks of vaping or if you would like to schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Christine Chung, please call (551)222-4493 today!