If you’ve seen people puffing pipes of invisible smoke at locations where tobacco use isn’t allowed, you’ve probably witnessed vaping in action. The rapidly-rising trend is branded as the safe alternative for tobacco users. While vaping companies thrive on that reputation, scientists and researchers have been conducting studies aimed at finding out exactly how vaping takes a toll on your health and smile.
What Exactly is Vaping and is it Safer than Smoking?
Vaping involves passing a nicotine-rich liquid over a heated coil to produce vapors. These vapors enter the user’s mouth and provide a dose of nicotine. Since these vapors lack the hundreds of chemicals present in cigarette smoke, vaping is a safe alternative to smoking in many ways. However, vaping hasn’t been around long enough for long-term research and the research that exists shows that vaping can cause harm to your smile.
How Does Vaping Affect Your Oral Health?
With any new trend that affects the body, many years must pass before reliable research on its lifelong effects can be completed. However, several ways that vaping can take a toll on your smile are known today. From increasing chances of gum disease to aggravating the condition of bruxism, check out four of the ways that vaping can impact the health of your smile.
Vaping Increases Your Risk of Gum Disease
In addition to the fun flavors, the main appeal of vaping is that it provides the user with nicotine. A trait of nicotine is that it reduces the oxygen in your blood and therefore causes your gums to recede away from the teeth. These newly-formed pockets in the gums create vulnerable areas where plaque, bacteria, and debris can gather and thrive. The fact that vaping causes receding gums means that it also increases your risk of gum disease.
Inhaling Hot Vapors Can Lead to Dry Mouth
Dry mouth may sound more like a minor nuisance than a legitimate dental concern, but the fact that it robs you of your mouth’s greatest defense system makes dry mouth a real threat. That defense system is saliva, and it washes away much of the debris that clings to your teeth. When vaping, your mouth will be deprived of saliva, rendering it defenseless and vulnerable to tooth decay.
Inflammation Markers Have Been Found in the Mouths of Vapers
Recent studies from the Dental Institute of the King’s College in London show that inflammation markers were found in the mouths of those who have recently vaped. These inflammation markers are essentially evidence of damaged cells caused by the vaping process. While inflammation markers typically preclude a specific condition, it’s too early to say what the long-term impact will be on vaper’s mouths.
Vaping Increases Instances of Bruxism
While just about everyone can relate to the feeling of grinding your teeth at one time or another, those with bruxism grind them so severely it jeopardizes their smile. Vaping gives users a strong dose of nicotine, and since this is a stimulant, it manifests as an energy boost which can increase the frequency of bruxism. The problem with aggravating bruxism is it can do permanent damage to the enamel of your teeth.
Visit Smile! Dental Center for the Smile You Deserve
Many of the things we do impact your smile. If you’re unsure of whether one of your habits is affecting your oral health, don’t hesitate to bring it up. When it comes to some of the newer trends like vaping, we appreciate any information you provide regarding how it affects your smile. If you’re experiencing problems with your gums, teeth, or other parts of your mouth, please contact our dental team in Gibsonia, PA for dental care that puts your comfort first.