In recent years, vaping has emerged as a popular alternative to smoking, especially in light of initial reports that found vaping to cause fewer health hazards than cigarettes, cigars and pipes. But while those reports focused on how vaping affects your lungs and cardiovascular system, they failed to take a close look at some of the other potential health issues – including whether e cigs are bad for your teeth and gums. More recently, though, dental health researchers have been taking a closer look at these issues. Here’s what they’ve found so far.
Is vape bad for teeth and gums?
The short answer: Yes, vape is bad for your teeth and gums, posing many of the same risks as “traditional” tobacco products. That’s because while vaping may not produce the clouds of dangerous smoke and chemical fumes like cigarettes do, e cigs still contain nicotine, and breathing in that vape means nicotine comes in contact with your teeth, gums and the soft tissues of your mouth.
When nicotine comes in contact with your gums, it gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Once it’s in your vessels, it causes them to constrict or tighten, and that means it’s much more difficult for your gums and other tissues to receive the oxygen and nutrients they need for optimal health.
Over time, continued streams of vape will cause your gums to recede and pull back from the surfaces of the teeth, exposing more of the tooth surface to the risks of decay and creating small pockets that allow harmful bacteria to reach the lower parts of the teeth. As a result, your risk for gum disease – and the tooth loss it can cause – will be substantially higher compared to someone who neither smokes nor vapes.
What’s more, since vaping restricts blood flow to your gums, it also tends to prevent gum bleeding, one of the early warning signs of gum disease. And that means you might have gum disease without knowing it, resulting in delayed care and far more substantial damage to your teeth and gums. Plus, restricted blood flow means your mouth’s ability to fight off infections also is impaired, so your risks of tooth decay, infections and gum disease are all increased significantly.
And finally, just like regular tobacco products, vape can cause chronic dry mouth, robbing your teeth of the continual flow of saliva that can help wash away food particles and limit bacterial growth to help prevent cavities and gum disease. Dry mouth is also a major cause of chronic halitosis – bad breath – which can have serious implications for your social life.
Protect Your Teeth From the Harmful Effects of Vaping
So what should you do if you vape? Simple: See your dentist regularly to have your teeth and gums evaluated. Having routine dental checkups and cleanings is the only way to catch those early signs of damage so you can take steps to prevent gum disease and tooth loss. Call Empire Dental today at 732-607-0909 and schedule your evaluation.