Over the last decade or so, vaping has become a popular alternative to smoking cigarettes and other types of tobacco use. Vaping has been associated with numerous health risks and can potentially lead to serious illnesses or death due to the harmful chemicals and substances.
Vaping is also toxic to your teeth. Just like traditional forms of tobacco, vaping can raise your risk of serious chronic oral health issues, like gum disease, cavities, infected teeth, and more. In this blog from New Horizon Institute, we’ll explore the ways that vaping can negatively affect your oral health.
Most vape “juice” contains nicotine, and depending on the brand you use, the nicotine content can vary widely. Some brands contain very little nicotine, while others may include much more than traditional tobacco products.
Nicotine is a stimulant. This means that, among other effects, nicotine restricts blood flow to the gums. This reduces your mouth’s natural ability to fight back against infections and stay healthy. Proper blood flow is essential for healthy gums.
If you vape regularly and use vape juice that’s high in nicotine, this means you’ll have a much higher risk of developing gum disease. If your gums become infected, this can lead to permanent damage to your teeth or even tooth loss.
The primary component of vape juice is called “propylene glycol,” which acts as a carrier for nicotine, flavoring compounds, and other elements of vape liquid. Propylene glycol is a non-irritating, harmless liquid, which is why it’s a popular choice for vape juice.
This doesn’t mean that it’s harmless to your teeth, though. When propylene glycol is heated during the vaping process, it can break down into acids like acetic acid and lactic acid, and into propionaldehyde, which is a soft tissue irritant. These compounds can damage your teeth and gums over time, raising your risk of cavities, gum disease, and infected teeth.
Saliva is incredibly important when it comes to fighting back against cavities and gum disease. Proper saliva flow helps rinse away food particles and oral bacteria, and also helps neutralize acid in your mouth.
Vaping is known to reduce saliva flow and cause dry mouth, particularly if you vape regularly. This, in turn, makes it harder for your saliva to rinse away food particles and bacteria, which raises your risk of gum disease and cavities, as well as fungal infections like oral thrush.
Vaping can be very harmful to your oral health. If you vape and want to stop, there are many online resources that can help you quit. We also recommend consulting with your doctor to learn more about your quitting options.
Whether you’re a current or former vaper, it’s also important to get routine checkups from a dentist. At New Horizon Institute, we’re always accepting new patients in Tempe and the surrounding areas. We’re not here to judge you. Instead, our goal is to help you get the dental care you need for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Contact us online or give us a call at (480) 664-2270 to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in Tempe right away.