Does Vaping Harm Your Teeth?

On October 29, 2015 / By Zöe Dental

While it’s too early to tell for sure, vaping has its pros and cons.

To either combat a smoking addiction or as an entirely new activity, many people have turned to vaping electronic cigarettes to pass their leisure time. If you vape, you know the drill. If you don’t, let’s start with a few basic definitions before moving on to concerns about oral health and gum disease in Asheville.

Vaping is the term used to describe the use of nicotine-laced liquids that are electronically heated to provide an inhalation system and subsequent vapor cloud. It’s not smoke, but vapor that’s released after you inhale. Electronic cigarettes are known as “e-cigs.”

Too New for Now

Vaping really hadn’t hit its stride in popularity until 2014, when the nicotine delivery systems started becoming ubiquitous. And while the health hazards of smoking have been well researched, the side effects of vaping are not yet known. Research is ongoing in the medical community, which has published a few notable conclusions. According to Environmental Health Perspectives, a monthly peer-reviewed journal of research and news published with support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • The liquids used in the e-cig devices are made from propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) or a mixture of the two.
  • PG can lead to lung and eye irritations.
  • Carbonyls are created when PG and VG are heated, similar to the amounts you get from cooking many different foods.
  • Impurities created by vaping are relatively harmless.
  • Vaping produces a high concentration of heavy metals and silicates, nanoparticles that come from the heating element and carried in the aerosol.
  • Nicotine levels vary from about 24 mg to zero.

Needless to say, gum disease in Asheville, general oral health nationwide and the effects of second-hand vapor on anyone in the vicinity of a vapor cloud are hot topics. Researchers in the very near future will be running tests and examining the evidence to form hypotheses. Until then, we only know so much.

Dental Side Effects

Vaping probably is safer than smoking cigarettes, based on the research currently available. But nicotine still is a hazardous substance, no matter how you get it. And research has shown that nicotine is harmful to your throat, mouth and tongue. It may even contribute to the onset of periodontitis and gingivitis that lead to both bad breath and inflammation.

And that’s one thing we know for sure about gum disease in Asheville and one of its many causes: Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. It reduces the blood flow in your veins. The result: Your gums don’t get sufficient oxygen and nutrients for optimal health. Finale: gum disease.

Recommendations

Just don’t do it. Who needs another bad habit anyway? But if you insist on vaping, at least watch out for these symptoms of gum disease in Asheville:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Dry mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Grinding your teeth

Increase your dental visits to every three months so that your dental team can monitor your gums and measure the telltale pockets that will form if you continue using nicotine. And take steps to cut down or stop smoking if you can. That’s the best way to avoid gum disease in Asheville.

—Zoe Dental