Vaping and your Oral Health – What are the Risks?
Let’s start with what vaping is. Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling an aerosol created by a vaping device. This includes electronic cigarettes, vapes and electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS. These contain a battery, mouthpiece heat component and cartridge for the e-liquid. When a vape is used, the battery fuels the heating component, turning the e-liquid into an aerosol which is inhaled and exhaled.
What are the negative oral effects of Vaping?
- Dry mouth and excessive bacteria that lead to cavities
- Gum disease and inflammation of gums
- Mouth sores
- Thick ropey saliva
- Cell death
- Irritation of the salivary ducts, glands and overall mucosa (soft tissues of entire mouth)
- Teeth grinding or Bruxism; due to the act of inhaling which stimulates your facial muscles and can cause you to grind teeth and damage enamel.
- Bad Breath
To expand a bit further, lets talk a bit how gum disease brought on by vaping can present as many symptoms. Teens who vape are seen with premature gum disease; this in turn will have the consequences of tooth loss, receding gums, bleeding and swollen gums, chronic bad breath or halitosis. Not a great thing for teens to have, when socially they want to have their brightest and most attractive smiles.
Vape juice that has nicotine can also cause teeth discoloration. The dryness that it causes also reduces the flow of saliva which is natures best protection against tooth decay.
Health risks associated with vaping include:
- Nicotine addiction
- Damage to your cells and DNA which can cause cancer. It also promote tumour growth in some types of cancer such as lungs, gastrointestinal and pancreatic as well as breast cancer.
- Damage to your blood cells and increased risk of heart disease.
- Weaker Immune system, inflammation.
- Inflammation of lungs, throat and esophagus
- Inflammatory response in white blood cells.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that what looks like steam is a safe alternative to cigarette smoke. It’s not a vapour, it’s an aerosol, like hairspray or bug spray. When teens think of it like that, they may change their minds about how cool it really is. Would you spray an aerosol like Raid in your mouth? Let’s just say that there are still so many unknowns associated with vaping that still haven’t been researched because it is all so new to the culture. Better to just say “no” and not even start or give it up before you find yourself addicted. I hope this blog made you think a bit more about vaping and changed a few minds about what seemingly looks harmless.
P.S. Have an awesome summer everyone. Get yourselves vaccinated and stay safe and healthy.