Vaping is touted as a safer alternative to smoking. However, while much is still uncertain about its effects on overall health, one thing has become clear; vaping is bad for your oral health.
What is vaping?
Vaping involves inhaling vapor from a heated liquid. A vape device has a battery, a mouthpiece, and a heating component that heats up a liquid cartridge. The heating turns the liquid into a vapor that is inhaled through the mouth and passes into the lungs. The liquid in vapes consists of chemicals, flavourings, and of course, nicotine
What research says about vaping and oral health
A study published in the journal Oncotarget, found that vaping is just as bad for oral health as cigarettes. It stated that vaping can contribute to a whole host of oral health issues such as tooth loss, mouth cancer, and gum disease.
Effects of nicotine on oral health
Other studies have pointed to the nicotine in vapes as being harmful to the gums, mouth, and tongue. One that appeared in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology found that nicotine may contribute to gum disease, and periodontitis, a serious gum infection that destroys the bones of the jaw and causes inflammation in the body.
Why is nicotine so harmful to oral health? Firstly, it restricts blood flow to the gums and dampens the body’s ability to fight infection, which can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Secondly, it decreases the ability to produce saliva. Without protective saliva, bacteria can build up leading to tooth decay and bad breath.
Other oral health problems caused by vaping
Inhaling heated vapor through the mouth can dry it out. This can lead to a growth in bacteria and increased risk of gum disease.
Research has also suggested that vaping may increase the risk of damage to the DNA, just like smoking. This causes cell death which in the mouth can lead to bone loss, tooth loss, and disease.
Neither smoking nor vaping is good for your oral health. To protect your mouth, your health, and your smile, stick to a good oral health care routine, eat teeth-friendly foods, and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups.
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