Dental Health Risks of Vaping and e-Cigarettes
Vaping and e-cigarettes work by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol that the user then inhales. It often seen as a replacement for smoking cigarettes, but schools have reported a massive increase in the number of youth vaping. The long-term effects of vaping are not fully known. Yet there is evidence that vaping can cause inflammation in the mouth, which can lead to gum disease and other series oral health problems.
Vaping, smoking e-cigarettes or water pipes – are often seen as less harmful than smoking cigarettes overall. Yet this is not the case for your mouth. When you vape, you inhale e-liquids (vape juice) which, even when labelled ‘nicotine-free’, can contain harmful substances.
It’s difficult to know what’s in e-cigarette fluid, but typically it will include:
- Propylene Glycol: which is toxic to tooth enamel and soft tissue, and causes “dry mouth” which increases the risk of tooth decay
- Vegetable Glycerin mixed with Flavourings: this combination reduces enamel hardness, and increases the adhesion of harmful plaque bacteria to tooth structure subsequently increasing the risk of tooth decay
- Volatile Organic Compounds: also found in solvents, paint strippers & air fresheners
- Nicotine: as found in cigarettes, which causes a restriction of blood flow to your gum tissues
- Other Carcinogens: which are cancer causing chemicals
How does Vaping effect your Oral Health?
Current research suggests vaping can have a variety of negative effects on your teeth and gums. Users may even experience temporary loss of taste, also called vape tongue. Some of these effects include:
- Excess Bacteria: Excess bacteria are associated with tooth decay, cavities, plaque accumulation and gum disease.
- Dry Mouth: Chronic mouth dryness, or xerostomia, is associated with bad breath, mouth sores, gum disease and tooth decay.
- Inflamed Gums: Ongoing gum inflammation is associated with various periodontal diseases.
- Overall Irritation: causing mouth and throat irritation and tender or swollen gums
Vaping a e-fluid that also contains nicotine, may also cause the following side effects:
- Teeth stains and discoloration
- Receding gums
One electronic cartridge (200–400 puffs) can equal the smoking of two to three packs of regular cigarettes.
The risk of vaping devices causing problems in your mouth are much higher if they contain nicotine. In practice, e-cigarette users tend to reach lower blood nicotine concentrations than tobacco smokers, although it is difficult to make a direct comparison because nicotine concentrations in e-cigarettes vary widely.
Vaping may be seen as a way to quit smoking. Yet vaping may actually make it harder to quit smoking completely and continues to increase the risk of diseases associated with use, such as mouth cancer.
Vaping and e-cigarette devices have become increasingly popular in the past decade, but the research hasn’t quite caught up. We do know that vaping will have a negative effect on your teeth and overall oral health. Vaping can cause long term damage to your teeth, mouth, and gums. Teeth exposed to vaping aerosol, increases the risk of dry mouth which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
The safety and long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes or other vaping products still aren’t well known. It’s difficult to know what’s in your e-cigarette fluid. Although manufacturers must submit a list of ingredients many don’t list ingredients on their packaging or websites.
Make an appointment with a dentist if you experience any of the following:
- bleeding or swollen gums
- changes in sensitivity to temperature
- frequent dry mouth
- loose teeth
- mouth ulcers or sores that don’t seem to heal
- toothache or mouth pain
- receding gums
Vaping represents a significant issue and potential increase in tobacco consumption, posing a tremendous hazard to individual’s oral health
For more information visit : https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/smoking-and-oral-health