It has been widely known for years that smoking and tobacco use is bad for your teeth and mouth. Smoking drastically increases your risk of oral cancer and other dental health issues. If smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco are so bad for you, vaping must be the much healthier option, right? Not so fast.
E-cigarettes and vape pens have become more popular in recent years, as the use of traditional cigarettes has declined. Unfortunately, far too many people believe that vaping is a healthier alternative to cigarettes since they don’t contain tobacco.
Why Is Vaping Bad for My Teeth?
E-cigarettes don’t produce tobacco smoke but instead deliver nicotine to the lungs using vapor, or an aerosol. That aerosol isn’t harmless water vapor as many people assume. That vapor contains nicotine and other toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Many of the chemicals in e-cigarette vapor are linked to cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease.
When it comes to your mouth, nicotine has been proven to be extremely harmful to your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Numerous oral health issues have been linked to nicotine.
Consistent nicotine consumption causes a reduction in blood flow, which affects the teeth and gums. When you don’t have enough blood flowing, your gums don’t get the oxygen and other essential nutrients they need to stay healthy. When your gums don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, they can die and begin to recede.
Dry Mouth & Tooth Decay
Nicotine from e-cigarettes also causes your mouth to produce less saliva. When you don’t produce enough saliva, you experience dry mouth, increased bacteria, plaque buildup, and eventually tooth decay.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) & Tooth Damage
When you inhale nicotine during vaping, it acts as a muscle stimulant. This can cause you to grind your teeth, also known as bruxism. If you already grind your teeth, it can make the problem worse. Repeatedly grinding or clenching your teeth leads to tooth damage and additional oral health problems.
There is also research that suggests vaping increases your risk of gum disease. Gum inflammation and swelling caused by the nicotine in e-cigarettes, combined with dry mouth and increased bacteria make gum disease a reality.
If you vape, regardless of how often, pay close attention to your mouth and whether you are experiencing any of the following gum disease symptoms:
- Consistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Red, irritated, or bleeding gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Receding gums
Take Action: Take Care of Your Mouth
If you regularly vape, that’s all the more reason to schedule regular checkups with your dentist. Routine, professional dental cleanings can help ensure you stay on top of your oral health and help prevent any serious issues from arising.
Call Dental Bright in Houston, TX today to schedule an appointment. We will never shame or embarrass you for your habits. We strive to make sure our patients are as healthy as they can be. We are here to help you take better care of your mouth. Call us today at 713-234-6690 or contact us online.