When it first arrived on the scene a few years ago, vaping was touted as a safer and healthier alternative to smoking. But is it, really? From the perspective of your dental health, the answer is clear – and it is “No!”
Dr. Dale Brant of Ingenious Dentistry states simply, “Vaping can cause a lot of dry mouth which, in turn, can lead to tooth decay.”
How Does Vaping Differ from Cigarette Smoking?
Instead of a conventional cigarette that produces smoke, vaping uses an electronic cigarette (also known as “e-cigs”, “juuls”, or “vapes”) that produces vapor. The electronic cigarette consists of a heating element to heat “vape juice” where the nicotine and other elements are housed.
Initially, it was believed that since vaping generates a smokeless vapor, it would be better for everyone.
How Does Vaping Affect Your Teeth and Gums?
Vaping may well be better for non-smokers, as it does not produce secondhand smoke like tobacco. Still, vaping does not offer any benefits to dental health. One of the problems is that vaping still brings users into contact with nicotine. This significantly reduces blood flow, restricting the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the soft tissues of the mouth.
Dr. Brant says, “Vaping can cause the gums to recede because of the nicotine, which causes the blood vessels to restrict and decreases blood flow to the gums. The gums will slowly pull away from the root of the tooth and vaping also can mask signs of periodontal disease.”
That’s not all: Reduced blood circulation also inhibits the mouth’s natural ability to fight against bacteria. Infection, decay rates and other problems all can be accelerated. Over an extended period of time, tooth loss and other health problems can result from vaping.
What Dental Symptoms Should Concern Vapers?
Just because someone vapes, it does not mean they will develop gum disease. Still, they should be alert to the symptoms. The more you vape and the longer you do so, the more likely you are to encounter health complications.
Some common symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Ongoing bad breath (halitosis)
- Red, irritated, or bleeding gums
- Tenderness or swelling of gums
- Wobbly teeth or loss of teeth
- Recession of gum tissue
If gum disease is detected early, treatment is much more likely to be successful. Treatment that starts early is more likely to prevent tooth loss and save you from needing dental implants, as well. With laser periodontal treatment, Dr. Brant at Ingenious Dentistry can ensure the underlying infection is eliminated in one or two visits.
If You’re Going to Vape, Be Sure to Visit Your Dentist
Vaping is a personal choice, but vapers should be aware of the risks. Regular check-ups and dental cleaning will help you protect your teeth and gums. To learn more, contact Ingenious Dentistry today.
Dr. Brant confirms that he and other Houston dentists are seeing more patients who vape. “We, at Ingenious Dentistry, understand that many people choose to vape, especially in an effort to quit smoking tobacco. We also want our patients to understand that vaping, like traditional smoking; can be detrimental to oral health.”