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Close-up of woman smoking from an electronic cigarette

4 Ways Vaping Affects Your Oral Health

What is Vaping?

Over the past decade, vaping has become an increasingly popular substitute for traditional cigarette smoking. Vaping is the inhalation of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette or other vaping devices. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, come with a cartridge typically full of a liquid containing nicotine, chemicals, and flavors. The e-cigarette then heats the liquid into a vapor, which is inhaled.

Vaping Among the Youth

Vaping is highly trendy amongst the younger population. According to the National Institutes of Health, 37% of 12th graders reported vaping in 2018, which was a 9% increase from 2017. E-cigarette use is so common among middle and high schoolers that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claims it to be a public health issue affecting children, families, schools, and communities.

Vaping hasn’t been around long enough to know its long-term effects; however, it has been deemed unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite the lack of available long-term research, there is a direct correlation between vaping and your oral health.

Here are some ways vaping can negatively impact your smile and how Neal C. Green D.D.S. Inc. can help:

1. Dry Mouth

Saliva is a vital component of a healthy mouth. The purpose of saliva far exceeds helping you break down foods or swallowing; it also acts as a cleanser. By constantly washing around your mouth, your saliva actively fights tooth decay.

When you experience what is commonly recognized as ‘dry mouth,’ you may notice your saliva become thick or sticky. Other symptoms of dry mouth include bad breath, difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing, and a dry or sore throat. If your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, your body isn’t naturally fighting off tooth decay.

The liquid commonly found in e-cigarettes can sometimes cause dry mouth, ultimately leading to cavities, tooth erosion, tooth decay, or even tooth loss.

2. Gum Disease

Although the vaping liquid does not contain tobacco, it does contain nicotine, an element that is known to be harmful to your oral health (not to mention your overall health, too). Nicotine restricts blood flow to your gums, resulting in common gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. However, nicotine also impacts your body’s ability to fight infection, increasing your risk of more severe gum disease symptoms. Often, tooth loss is a result of severe gum disease, causing further overall health complications.

3. Bad Bacteria

Research shows that teeth exposed to vaping liquid have more bacteria in their pits and grooves than those that didn’t. This is due to the ingredients in the vaping juice that impact the tooth’s enamel or hard, protective outer layer. The enamel protects the inner layer of the teeth from acid and bad bacteria; however, when weakened, your chance of tooth decay increases.

4. Inflammation

In addition to restricting blood flow to your gums, nicotine also causes swelling and inflammation. Gum inflammation also makes you more susceptible to gum disease, especially with the increase in bacteria and dry mouth.

Oral Health Treatments at Neal C. Green D.D.S. Inc.

At Neal C. Green D.D.S. Inc., your smile is our priority. With locations in Santa Clarita and Palmdale, our comprehensive dental practice performs all services under one roof for your convenience and comfort. We are proud to be one of the few practices in the area that can meet any of your needs, no matter what they are.

If the use of e-cigarettes has impacted your smile, have no fear — our team is here. Whether you need a routine dental check-up, dental implants, or periodontal treatment, Neal C. Green D.D.S. Inc. has the solution for you.

Call our office at (661) 218-2786 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.