What You Need to Know about Vaping and Oral Health
In this day and age, virtually everyone—both adults and children alike—are aware of the huge dangers that smoking poses to a person’s overall health and well-being. Not only does smoking greatly increase your risk for lung cancer, heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, but it can also greatly damage your teeth, gums and overall oral health. As a result, many people are now turning towards e-cigarettes and vaping in an effort to avoid worse negative effects of smoking. The vaping problem has become especially pronounced amongst younger people, which lead the US Surgeon General to officially declare youth e-cigarette use an epidemic in December 2018.
The fact that e-cigarette use among U.S. children under the age of 18 almost doubled between 2017 and 2018 shows how big the problem has suddenly become. Therefore, taking into account the huge rise in vaping among both young and older Americans, we thought now would be a good time to ensure everyone is aware of the potentially negative effects that e-cigarette use can have on your teeth, gums and oral health.
The Differences between Vaping and Smoking
According to a 2018 study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, current evidence does suggest that vaping carries with it less oral health risks when compared to smoking cigarettes. Of course, the fact that vaping is still a very new phenomenon means that the research into this area is still very much in its infancy, and we very much expect that these conclusions will begin to change once more research has been done and more information is available.
Vaping Is Not Without Its Risks
Even if the research currently suggests that vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes in terms of your oral health, this does not mean that vaping is entirely safe. In fact, there is already substantial evidence to show that vaping can still pose many of the same problems to your teeth and gums.
For starters, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is known to cause recession of the gums by constricting your blood vessels. Over time, this gum recession can cause your teeth to become loose or fall out, and it can also be a major contributor to gum disease. Many e-juice liquids also contain base ingredients like propylene glycol that are known to leave you with a dry mouth. This is another issue you’ll want to avoid as chronic mouth dryness can contribute to tooth decay and is also a major cause of bad breath.
Vaping Can Eventually Change Your Smile
It is not just what is in e-cigarettes that can be bad for your oral health, but also the vaping device itself. In this case, it is the fact that you must suck on the device for it to work much in the same way a baby would suck on a pacifier. The effect of this sucking over time can eventually begin to reshape your mouth and teeth—potentially causing the front teeth to push forward and flare out. Should this unfortunately happen, you’ll then require expensive and time-consuming orthodontic treatment as this is the only effective method of treating this condition and restoring your smile to the way it should look.
Although many people consider vaping to be a safer alternative to cigarettes, the fact is that neither are good for your oral health. On the plus side, most people find quitting vaping to be far easier than quitting smoking. Therefore, this is something that we seriously consider any of our patients who vape to consider as it could just hold the key to protecting your oral health and preserving your beautiful smile.