The use of e-cigarettes (or vaping) has become a popular trend in the last few years. Most of the vaping population turned to their new habit under the assumption that e-cigarettes are the healthier alternative compared to traditional tobacco products. Unfortunately, vaping is not without health risks, including some serious risks to your oral health.
Since e-cigarettes are relatively new, research studies are still being conducted on the long-term risks of this oral habit. A recent CNET article exposes some of the most recent findings of how vaping can negatively impact dental health. The article reports what New York periodontist Scott Froum, D.D.S. discovers as he digs into the research of this topic. “Most experts agree that although e-cigarettes generally contain fewer toxins than tobacco cigarettes, that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. And after reviewing the evidence on how propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and nicotine — the three most common ingredients in e-cigarettes — can affect oral health, Froum thinks there’s cause for concern.”
Here’s a closer look at how these three ingredients can potentially affect your oral health each time your vape:
- Propylene Glycol: This is a liquid alcohol that can lead to dry mouth, which can also contribute to bad breath, cavities and gum disease. PG also breaks down into acids that are known to weaken tooth enamel and soft tissues.
- Vegetable Glycerin: Although considered safe by the FDA, research suggests that when this glycerin is mixed into the vaping aerosol of e-cigarettes and exposed on teeth, there is up to four times the amount of bacteria on those teeth compared to those that haven’t been exposed.
- Nicotine: While e-cigarettes generally contain less nicotine than tobacco cigarettes, it can still threaten your oral health in the same way. Nicotine decreases blood flow to the mouth as a vasoconstrictor and limits cellular turnover. Regular nicotine use has been associated with gum disease and tooth loss.
The Jury Is Still Out
You aren’t likely to find hard evidence and public health reports about the effects of e-cigarettes on oral health just yet. Vaping is simply too new. Evidence and research is still being gathered. What we do know is that there are some concerning studies out there and the existing findings suggest there are oral health risks to be found.
Is your vaping habit worth the health of your smile? At Manhattan Dental Design, we urge patients to stop their smoking habit for the sake of their dental health. However, we also recognize the potential harm that vaping and other “smoking substitutes” could produce. If you are concerned about the health of your teeth after vaping or smoking tobacco products, please schedule your visit with us today!
Posted on behalf of Manhattan Dental Design