The Dental Dangers of Vaping
Vaping and E-Cigarettes are more popular than ever, with 1 in 20 Americans using them. While their popularity has increased, they can pose a serious risk to your oral health. From the harmful effects of nicotine to the change in the makeup of your mouth’s bacteria, the products can damage an otherwise healthy mouth.
Dr. Cary Berdy from Berdy Dental Group joined WJXT on Saturday, July 31, to highlight the risks that go along with vaping and e-cigarette use. You can view the segment here.
What are the effects of vaping on your mouth and teeth?
Vaping and e-cigarette devices have become increasingly mainstream in the past decade. They have been posed to the public as a safer, less addictive alternative to cigarettes. However, the scientific research has not been able to keep up with the intense popularity of these devices, so many studies on its long-term effects are still ongoing.
What we do know for sure is that while vaping poses fewer oral health risks than traditional cigarettes or chewing tobacco, there are still several key issues associated with its usage.
Whether you vape socially, on a regular basis, or are relying on it to help kick a cigarette addiction, everyone should be aware of the oral health risks associated with the habit.
What are the specific risks of e-cigarettes on oral health?
- Excess Bacteria
- A 2018 research article found that teeth that had been exposed to e-cigarette aerosol had more bacteria than those that hadn’t. This difference was greater in the pits and crevices of teeth. As any dentist would tell you, excess bacteria can become a big problem – it’s associated with tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases.
- Dry Mouth
- Some e-cigarette base liquids, particularly propylene glycol, can cause mouth dryness, which can lead to bad breath, mouth sores, and tooth decay.
- Inflamed Gums
- Studies have also suggested that e-cigarette use can cause general mouth and throat irritation and trigger an inflammatory response in gum tissues. And gum inflammation can lead to periodontal disease.
- Cell Death
- According to 2018 report, studies of live cells from human gums suggest vaping aerosols can increase inflammation and DNA damage leading to cell death. This may play a role in oral health issues including: periodontal diseases, tooth decay or tooth or bone loss, dry mouth and bad breath
- Teeth Grinding
- Because nicotine is a stimulant, it can act as a muscle stimulant that can cause you to grind or clench your teeth, also known as bruxism. Bruxism can cause broken & damaged teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and is a risk factor for bone loss around your teeth.
- Mouth Burns
- In rare cases, e-cigarettes have been known to overheat or even explode, causing mild to severe mouth burns.
How can someone treat the symptoms that vaping causes in the mouth?
If you’re seeing any of these symptoms – whether from e-cigarette use or otherwise – a call to the dentist’s office is in order. The key to stopping the progression of damage is to catch it early, especially with gum disease.
If you do vape and don’t plan on quitting, it’s even more important to stay on top of your oral health. At Berdy Dental Group, we’ve treated many patients who have struggled with smoking addictions. While the best option is always to avoid the damage and quit smoking/vaping altogether, your dentist can help you with some solutions to mitigate its negative effects and teach you how to best protect your teeth and gums from the effects of nicotine.