When vaping first came out, some people saw it as a better alternative to smoking. This isn’t necessarily the case. While vaping does take out the things that make smoking harmful to your health, it still has its problems. Particularly when it comes to your dental health. That being said, how is vaping bad for your teeth?
In a nutshell, a vape contains vaporized nicotine, often in flavors that make it more palatable to consume. The device, in a sense, contains far less harmful substances than your typical cigarette. A cigarette contains carcinogenic substances like tar. On the other hand, vapes—which are also known as e-cigarettes—are composed of substances used in day-to-day consumption.
Then why do they pose such a risk for your dental health? We look into this further.
The ingredients predispose you to tooth decay
Most of the ingredients found in vape liquid are mostly safe to consume. But they can still cause adverse effects over time.
Propylene glycol, for instance, can make your mouth dry if you take it constantly. An always dry mouth can predispose you to other oral diseases. This predisposition is because it restricts the production of saliva. Saliva is what helps dissipate any leftover sugars. These sugars are what oral bacteria use to attack tooth enamel. Without it, it becomes easier for plaque to accumulate. This accumulation leads to a slew of dental issues.
When propylene glycol is broken down, its components can also be harmful to the tooth enamel.
The flavoring and vegetable glycerin present in vape liquid may also attract more bacteria to the teeth. Teeth exposed to these ingredients carry up to four times more bacteria than the teeth of non-vapers. This result may be due to the sugars that they produce when broken down.
Finally, experts have documented the ill effects of nicotine on one’s gums. These effects include a decrease in both blood flow and cell replacement.
Addiction causes repeat exposure, enhancing the effects
When done in moderation, e-cigs may serve as a harmless pastime. However, because nicotine is an addictive substance, some users go beyond casual usage. Vaping is most popular around a younger demographic. Younger minds tend to catch on to the addictive effects more than older ones, making them more likely to repeat use.
As with most harmful substances, repeat use could further enhance its effects. Especially for those with poor oral health habits. We discussed how often sugar is consumed matters more than how much sugar is consumed within the intake. The combination of low saliva output, potential exposure to sugars, and other ill effects is a cocktail for disaster on your oral health. And through repeat use, they can be magnified further.
Nonetheless, the use of e-cigs as an alternative for cigarettes still pose a huge benefit for smokers who want to quit. But as with all things, vaping must be kept in moderation to mitigate any risks it may pose. And of course, always hit the toothbrush.