vaping and oral health

Vaping and Oral Health- What are the Dangers?

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Since everyone is already on the subject about the dangers of vaping, I figured I would throw my two cents in the mix. With all of the bad hype on vaping lately, I feel strongly as an oral health advocate, that I should help educate on the dangers of vaping and your oral health as well. Read on to find out all your questions answered about the danger of vaping and oral health.

In case you don’t know which bad vaping hype I am referring to, the CDC has recently linked over 450 illnesses and now 6 deaths due to an outbreak of a severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping or e-cigarette products. The investigation is ongoing while they are trying to figure out the actual cause. The only thing they know for sure right now is that all of these diseased individuals have vaping in common.

What is Vaping?

The action of inhaling and exhaling vapor that is produced by electronic devices or any other similar device is known as vaping. This can be done with several different devices such as vape pens, hookas and mods. JUUL is a really popular brand especially among young people. These vaping practices are becoming rampant and the side effects are already obvious. Vaping has several harmful effects on the health of individuals.

Many people try to quit traditional cigarettes so they turn to vaping. There are several harmful effects of vaping on the body. Vaping does not have as many chemicals as traditional cigarettes so many people assume they are safer.

This is not necessarily the case. Although there have been several studies linked to the dangers of vaping. Many of these long term effects we won’t know because vaping is so new.

Many of us already know about the dangers of vaping. But what does vaping do to your oral health? Does vaping effect your teeth? Does vaping cause oral cancer? Does vaping stain your teeth?

Keep reading to find out what we know now about the dangers of vaping and also the dangers of vaping and your oral health.

What Dangers Does Vaping Pose?

Vaping has many health dangers as well as affects on oral health. Vaping and smoking affects almost all of the organs in your body. The heart and lungs suffer the brunt the most. A staggering amount of heart-related diseases are caused due to direct or secondhand smoking activities.

Vaping And Your Health

Here are some dangers of vaping:

  • Addiction

Vaping is bad for your health. Nicotine is one of the primary agents in traditional and e-cigarettes. This substance is highly addictive and can be very difficult to quit. It also increases the risks of you having a heart attack due to the increases in your heart rate and spikes in your adrenaline level.

  • Health-Related Issues

Most organs in your body are affected by vaping . This is evident in the decay of your lungs and the increased risk of having a heart attack. Other organs of your body that suffer from vaping activities include liver, kidneys, lungs and digestive organs.

Just like smoking the traditional cigarette, vaping shortens the life span of an individual and can cause serious damage to the health of the individual. Nearly all the organs in the body are affected. These organs include lung, heart, blood vessels, skin, eyes, bones, mouth, and reproductive organs.

Just like tobacco, vaping is also likely to increase the risk of developing lung cancer in the long run. Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death and one of the hardest types of cancer to treat. When the inhaled smoke interacts with living cells, it harms it.

Vaping causes high blood pressure and can reduce your ability to exercise. It can also make your blood clot faster than a normal rate. The FDA also claims that many vaping activities have also been linked to seizures.

Nicotine is one of the main substances put in vapes because people who try to quit smoking still crave nicotine. The inhaling and exhaling of nicotine is very toxic to the body. Nicotine raises the blood pressure and causes a spike in your adrenaline level. This increases your heart rate and in turn, increases the risk of heart attack.

Vaping can also make pneumonia, asthma and other respiratory issues worse. It can also cause other related lung diseases that are similar to the effect produced by lung cancer.

A study concluded that flavoring used in vaping may be harmful to body cells and have relevance to cardiovascular toxicity.

According to this study, e-juices can trigger an inflammatory response in monocytes. Monocytes are white blood cells that help fight infections. This could cause pulmonary toxicity and tissue damage in its users. This also includes nicotine free vaping.

Vaping Lung Disease

Vaping products have been pinpointed as one of the leading causes of the high rise in lung-related diseases lately . These vaping products contain nicotine without the traditional smoke from tobacco. Some people use the vaping product as the direct replacement for tobacco.

However, some other vaping products may also contain

  • Carcinogens
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Toxic nanoparticles from the product containers

Although these vaping products are relatively new, there is still ongoing research into the long-term damages it could pose to the body. In a recent development, there have been reports of lung inflammation and lung tissue damage due to vaping activities. This has cause 6 deaths in recent weeks and several hundred people are hospitalized.

Vaping and Oral Health

Vaping increases the risk of developing various health risks. One of the health risks that may occur is oral health issues. If you are not regularly doing a good dental hygiene routine like brushing and flossing daily, your vaping habit might result in some serious oral consequences. Heck, even if you are meticulous with your dental routine, you can still face some serious oral health risks.

Here are some of the negative oral health effects vaping can cause:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Increase risk of cavities
  • Weakened enamel
  • Deterioration of soft tissues
  • Risk of mouth burns
  • Throat irritation
  • Lung disease
  • Increased plaque microbial adhesion and build up
  • Tissue damage
  • Nicotine vaping: decrease blood flow, increase risk of gum disease and tooth loss
  • Increase risk for oral cancer

In many recurring cases, vaping results in having a dry mouth. Often times when someone has a dry mouth, they chase after sugar loaded drinks to quench their thirst. This combination of dry mouth and sugary, acidic drinks can lead to extensive tooth decay and the wearing away of the enamel.

Vaping also causes eroding and softening of the enamel due to some of the ingredients. This leads to an increase in the risk of cavities. If you vape, this is more reason why your oral hygiene has to be squeaky clean.

“Propylene glycol, a liquid alcohol that’s often used in food processing because of its ability to mix well with flavoring ingredients, can lead to dry mouth, which (when chronic) can cause cavities and gum disease. PG also breaks down into acetic acid, lactic acid and propionaldehyde — all of which are known to deteriorate tooth enamel and soft tissues.”

This particular study below shows that flavored e-cigarettes increase plaque and decrease enamel hardness. This can increase risk for cavities.

E-cigarette aerosols produced four-fold increase in microbial adhesion to enamel. Exposure to flavored aerosols led to two-fold increase in biofilm formation and up to a 27% decrease in enamel hardness compared to unflavored controls

Vaping also contains ingredients that cause mouth and throat irritation. Many users have reported mouth burns due to vaping.

Many people vape with nicotine. Nicotine has many harmful effects on teeth including gum disease and tooth loss.

Does Vaping Cause Cancer?

Vaping is still fairly new. This makes it difficult to truly know all of the long term affects it could have. While scientist are still researching this matter, it is important to know that vaping does have cancer causing chemicals in it. So we do know that vaping does at least increase your risk for certain cancers including oral cancer.

Will Vaping Stain Your Teeth?

This is probably the only advantage you enjoy from moving from the traditional cigarette to vaping. Vaping does not typically stain your teeth. However, vaping with tar or flavoring with coloring in it may cause some stains on your teeth.

It is worthy to note that this does not mean there won’t be any effect on your teeth. Vaping just does not cause as much damage to your teeth as a normal cigarette would. 

To Wrap It Up

Vaping is supposed to be a direct substitute for the traditional cigarette and tobacco to reduce the negative side effects. However, the underlying effects and health risks caused by vaping still cause negative impacts to your body system. Hence, it is very important to pay close attention to your dental and general health condition. Quitting smoking and vaping would be the best choice you can make for you health of your mouth and overall body.

Kelly Hancock, RDH

Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.

This article and all advice on this website, Toothbrush Life, is intended to help people gain knowledge about general oral health topics. No articles or advice on this website are intended to replace professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or qualified healthcare provider to help you with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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