It's commonly believed electronic cigarettes—devices that deliver nicotine via an aerosol—aren't as dangerous as regular cigarettes, since they don't deliver as many harmful chemicals to the body as the real thing. While e-cigarettes, otherwise known as vaping, are safer to use in general, it's still can cause significant harm to your oral health. Here's why.
The Nicotine is the Primary Culprit
Cigarettes produce over 7,000 chemicals when burned, 69 of which are considered cancerous. The solution used in vaping devices doesn't contain nearly as many chemicals, but it does include a healthy dose of the substance that causes the most health problems: nicotine.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it causes the blood vessels to narrow and reduce blood flow. Since blood contains the oxygen, nutrients, and white blood cells needed to keep tissues healthy and functioning, anything that inhibits its movement will only lead to health problems.
For the mouth in particular, nicotine can prevent blood from circulating adequately in the mouth, which can lead to a number of oral health problems such as receding gums, periodontal disease, and dry mouth. The longer you consume nicotine, the higher the risk you will start losing teeth to disease and decay because of the negative impact the substance has on blood flow.
So, even though e-cigarettes are technically better for your body than cigarettes, use of them can still produce some of the same oral health consequences are regular cigarettes.
It's Best to Quit Nicotine
The best way to protect your teeth and gums from the harmful effects of nicotine is to quit using it altogether. Unfortunately, nicotine is a highly addictive substance, so stopping using is typically easier said than done. Thus, if you are unable to kick the habit, the next best thing is to step up your oral care routine.
In addition to brushing twice per day and flossing at least once, you'll want to visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and examinations. Professional cleanings will eliminate the debris and plaque buildup that's missed during regular brushing, and the dentist can spot and fix issues with your teeth before they become a problem.
Since nicotine can prevent white blood cells from reaching your gums to help fight the bacteria that's always present there, you may want to use a medicated mouthwash daily to supplement your bodies natural defense. These mouthwashes eliminated bacteria and reduce the damage they can do to teeth and gums.
There are many other things you can do to protect your oral health if you choose to vape. Contact a family dentist for more tips and information about this issue.
I have never liked my teeth. I had a lot of dental problems, including deep staining and oddly shaped teeth. Every tooth did not have the same shape, and some were rounded while others were more square. Not surprisingly, I never smiled in pictures and not even much in real life. This left people thinking I was mean before they even met me. My dentist told me my best bet to improve the look of my smile was a set of porcelain dental veneers. He said they could make all my teeth white and the same shape. I said I wanted them without any hesitation, and we scheduled my procedures. I love my new teeth, and they really did change my life. I created this blog to help other people living with teeth they don't like realize that they do have options that can improve their smiles and their lives.