Right around the time when new laws and taxes have severely decreased the number of people that smoke in America, a new form of nicotine use has burst onto the scene. Vaping is marketed as the safe new alternative to smoking cigarettes, but with new research available, is vaping really as safe as they seem? Explore the rapidly-rising trend of vaping and see how it can impact your smile.
Vaping – A Rapidly Growing Industry
There are now over 20 million users of vaping products in the world with at least 9 million coming out of the United States. Many former smokers gravitated towards vaping when it was branded as a safe alternative – and in many ways, it is exponentially safer than smoking tobacco. The rapid growth of the vaping industry is reflected in the many vape shops that have sprung up in major cities and in those who vape in public until laws catch up to the research.
Is Vaping a Safe Alternative to Smoking Cigarettes?
With its invisible vapors and fun flavors, vaping has been branded as the safe alternative to smoking tobacco. While vaping manufacturers are content to let this reputation stand, scientists have been examining every effect vaping has on the human body. While no long-term research is available, scientists have found reason for concern due to three main factors, including the inflammation vaping causes in the mouth.
4 Ways Vaping Affects Your Oral Health
Vaping may forego many of the toxins that are present in typical cigarette smoke, but it still exposes your mouth to nicotine which presents its own problems. Research has shown that this intake of nicotine through vaping has these three effects on your oral health.
1. Increased Chances of Developing Gum Disease
Research indicates that nicotine can reduce oxygen to the gums, causing them to recede from the gumline. This makes them increasingly vulnerable to gum disease, as those pockets more easily allow plaque to accumulate.
2. Causes Inflammation Which Points to More Serious Problems
Irfan Rahman, a biochemist out of the University of Rochester in New York has found inflammation markers in the mouths of people who have recently vaped. While vaping is too new for valid long-term research, the evidence that it causes inflammation in the cells found in the mouth suggests that it leads to further damage down the line.
3. Heat from the Vapors Causes Dry Mouth
Vaping works by expelling hot vapors into your mouth. One effect of that heat is that it eliminates saliva, causing a condition known as dry mouth. Since saliva works as the mouth’s natural defense system, helping wash away bacteria and food debris, this lack of saliva allows harmful plaque to stick to the teeth undeterred.
4. Increases Bruxism in Teeth Grinders
Bruxism is a condition where someone unknowingly grinds their teeth on a consistent basis. Nicotine is a stimulant which provides a boost in energy, so those who tend to grind their teeth are likely to do it more often. This consistent grinding of the teeth can cause permanent damage to the enamel, a problem that is exacerbated by vaping.
Do You Think Vaping Affects Your Teeth? Let Us Know!
While some research exists on the trend of vaping, it’s all very new and limited so far. That means that your feedback matters and our dental team in Greensburg, PA wants to hear it! If you’ve experienced symptoms from vaping that have made your mouth, gums, or teeth feel differently, let us know. We will consider all feedback and concerns when designing the perfect treatment plan that meets your needs. Contact Dr. Kovacevic today to make an appointment.