It’s not hard to understand why teens and adults around the world enjoy vaping. E-cigarettes have enjoyed a starring role in many trending music videos, movies, advertisements, and other popular platforms. Many celebrities, musicians, and other young stars have also endorsed the latest vaping device models in creative ways.
Vaping devices are often thought of as a ‘safer alternative’ to traditional tobacco products. However, smoking even just one e-cigarette might not be as safe as you think. Here are some fast facts about vaping to consider before you try it out.
How vaping affects your gums
Both traditional and electronic tobacco products put your gums at risk. Several studies have shown that prolonged smoking leads to problems like periodontitis, weaker gum tissues, tooth and bone loss, and gum pocket formation. Furthermore, it’s much harder for smokers to realize that they might be suffering from gum disease since nicotine constricts the blood vessels and lessens bleeding.
The gums are mainly comprised of the periodontal ligament (the tissues that connect a tooth to the jawbone), gingival fibroblasts (cells that grow and maintain connective tissues), and epithelial cells (cells that protect surfaces of the body). When these cells become irritated by smoke, nicotine, or tobacco, they swell and bleed.
The cells and tissues that form your gums are the primary victims of e-cigarette smoke. Every time you inhale vapor from any kind of e-cigarette it becomes harder for your gums to strengthen and recover from periodontal disease. Your teeth are also more likely to loosen and fall out since nicotine and chemical flavoring weakens the tissues keeping them in place.
Vaping and tooth decay
Many smokers often struggle with cavities, gum disease, and other serious oral health problems since they aren’t able to produce enough saliva needed to protect their teeth and gums. When there isn’t enough moisture inside your mouth, it becomes much easier for bacteria, plaque, and tartar to build up and stick to your teeth.
Propylene glycol (PG), a common ingredient found in food items and e-cigarettes, is known as a primary culprit for “dry mouth”. PG molecules easily absorb moisture from your saliva and oral tissues, which results in your teeth not having enough protection from bacteria, plaque, and sticky tartar.
Another reason to avoid vaping is that the sugars found in sweeteners can in fact weaken tooth enamel and make you more vulnerable to tooth decay. Vape sweeteners combined with a daily dose of coffee, soda, and other sugary beverages make it much easier for acids and harmful bacteria to spread and stick to teeth. Odor-causing bacteria mixed with sugar can also foul up your breath and worsen painful cavities.
Nicotine, a key ingredient in both electronic and non-electronic tobacco products, is another key player in tooth erosion. This is because once nicotine is inhaled it acts as a powerful muscle stimulant. As a result, you can end up grinding your teeth even more than before.
Many smokers often experience problems with excessive jaw grinding due to the amount of nicotine they inhale every day. When left unresolved, excessive jaw grinding can result in not only painful damage to your teeth, but also migraines and difficulties with sleeping at night. Even if you try to mitigate the damage with a night guard, your teeth still remain at risk when you stimulate your muscles with nicotine every day.
It just isn't right to assume that vaping doesn't affect your teeth. Like any tobacco product, e-cigarettes contain ingredients and chemicals that can cause or worsen various oral health problems. In the end, it's much better to steer clear of it or stop entirely.