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Vaping: The Not-So-Safe Smoking Alternative

Woman Using Electronic Cigarette
Vaping is widely popular and often marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking. However, the word healthier is highly relative. While vaping is not the same as smoking a cigarette, vaping can bring about all sorts of adverse effects, including many concerning oral health issues.
Keep your health priority number one. Learn more about some of the oral health concerns you could face when vaping, so you can protect your mouth, teeth, and gums.

Gums

The mouth is a complex structure that has many functioning parts. Therefore, every system within the mouth has an essential role, including your gum tissue. Think of your gums as an anchoring system for your teeth. When you bite into hard food or even suffer light trauma to the mouth, your gums help keep your teeth in place.
Vaping can put you on the path to gum disease because the practice can agitate the gum tissue cells. Gum disease is a serious oral health issue that can cause permanent damage to the structure of your gums, which may produce a deterioration effect. Chewing difficulties, tender gums, and tooth loss are some of the costs associated with having gum disease.
The frequency at which you vape will play a significant role in your risk for gum tissue damage. Consequently, the more you vape, the higher the threat. Additionally, vaping when you are already at risk for gum disease is especially problematic because it puts more stress on your already weak gums. 

Breath Odors

Breath odor is a well-known result of smoking cigarettes. Contrary to popular belief, vaping doesn't offer much relief in this area. Even though you won’t smell like cigarettes, vaping cause conditions that produce bad breath. Vaping liquids contain an ingredient known as propylene glycol. Glycol is used because it has a sweet, palatable taste and produces vapors when heated. However, the glycol also has a drying effect on the mouth.
Saliva is essential because it helps wash away some of the odor-causing bacteria naturally found in the mouth. When your mouth is dry, the bacteria run rampant, along with their smell. Dry mouth can also increase your risk for cavities because much of the dangerous bacteria in your mouth can also cause decay.
If you suffer from dry mouth caused by another condition, such as medication use, your complications could be magnified if you vape. Drinking water may help in the short term, but each time you vape, you start the drying cycle over again. 

Bruxism

Some vaping solutions contain nicotine. Nicotine is used in vaping liquid for the same reason it's used in cigarettes — nicotine is a powerful stimulant. A primary concern with nicotine is that it doesn't have any restrictions. The ingredient can boost stimulation throughout the body, including your muscle system.
Stimulation of the jaw muscles can cause you to grind your teeth. In severe forms, this practice is known as bruxism. Teeth grinding may cause permanent damage to your teeth's enamel. In some cases, you may develop headaches or suffer from sleep disturbances if the grinding is excessive at night.
People respond to nicotine similarly to the way they do caffeine. As a result, the same amount of nicotine might produce different effects on different people. Don't be fooled if you're nicotine-sensitive. Even a small dosage of nicotine in the vaping liquid can serve as a powerful stimulant, which may only increase your risk for bruxism.
Maintaining a healthy and vibrant smile begins with you, so ensure you do your part. For concerns about vaping, or any other oral health concern, speak with a dentist. At Rabel Family Dental, we are happy to address any concerns you might have. Contact our office today to make an appointment so that we can help.