By now, you’ve probably heard all the horror stories about vaping and how it’s been shown to be just as unhealthy as regular smoking, putting you at risk for seizures and heart disease. But did you know that it could also lead to cavities? Your dentist in Huber Heights has some alarming news about the effects of vaping on your oral health.
How is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth and Gums?
E-cigarettes work by turning liquids (usually nicotine) into a vapor for you to inhale. This means that the device is producing a lot of heat – and as a side effect, that heat dries out your mouth and decreases saliva levels. Saliva plays an important role in neutralizing acids, washing away food particles and keeping bacterial growth under control; less saliva means a more favorable environment to the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. In other words, vaping ultimately leaves the mouth more vulnerable to infection and other issues.
Furthermore, a 2018 review of several studies found evidence that vaping aerosols could damage your cells, taking away their ability to divide and grow and eventually leading to premature death. Not only could this play a role in gum disease and tooth decay, but it might even be tied to bone loss or tooth loss.
Is Vaping Better for Your Mouth Than Regular Cigarettes?
It goes without saying at this point that vaping isn’t the safe alternative to smoking that many claimed it to be. While research into the effects of e-cigarettes is still relatively new at this point, their effects on the mouth seem to be similar compared to that of traditional cigarettes. Both involve heat, so they tend to dry the mouth out. Also, while e-cigarettes don’t have any tar, they still contain nicotine that can stain the teeth and make it easier for plaque to build up on the enamel. Doctors are still looking into other effects vaping can have on oral health, such as the damage that could be caused by flavoring agents.
What are the Signs of Oral Health Problems?
Even if you’ve stopped vaping, you need to keep a close eye on your teeth and gums until the next time you visit the dentist for a checkup. Make an appointment right away if you notice:
- Red, puffy or bleeding gums
- Receding gums that have exposed more of the teeth
- White spots on your teeth
- Red or white patches on your gums, tongue, or the inside of your cheek
Any of these symptoms be a sign of an oral disease that will only get worse if it goes unchecked. Of course, if you want to avoid these issues altogether, then your best bet is to never start vaping in the first place!
About the Author
Dr. James A. Striebel has been practicing dentistry for over two decades and offers convenient, high-quality care for the entire family. He’s highly skilled in treating gum disease, cavities and other oral health issues. If you use e-cigarettes or have used them in the past and are concerned about the effects it might have had on your smile, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Striebel by visiting his website or call (937) 235-2400.