E-cigarettes are on the rise. It has been estimated that within 10 years e-cigarettes will outsell tobacco products since they are considered a safer and less expensive alternative to smoking. Smoking has been linked to cancer and heart disease but that doesn’t mean e-cigarettes are not hazardous for your health. There has also been concern that e-cigarettes are quickly becoming a gateway drug for nonsmokers and teens.
What Are E-Cigarettes?
The battery powered electronic device contains a cartridge with e-juice (made up of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and liquid nicotine) and a heating element to produce vapor. Since vapor is produced rather than smoke, the amount of toxic chemicals emitted are significantly reduced. This battery powered device also reduces the odor that normally accompanies smoking.
Artificial flavors can also be added to produce pleasant scents like bubble gum and pop tarts. But is it safe?
How Vaping Affects Your Oral Health
Unlike smoking a cigarette which can cause yellow teeth, plaque buildup, and lung cancer, the ingredients contained in e-cigarettes don’t contain harmful chemicals that can cause tooth discoloration. The mixture of distilled water, artificial flavor, and liquid mix of nicotine turns into a vapor that won’t contribute to tooth decay however, nicotine does reduce your saliva production which can lead to other side effects.
- Cause dry mouth or halitosis (bad breath)
- Increase chance for tooth decay
- Make you more susceptible to cavities
- Cause periodontal disease
- Chronic cough
- Inflammation of the gums and bleeding
However it still remains unclear if vaping is safer than tobacco. It still contains nicotine which can cause irritability and anxiety for those who are in withdrawal. And it’s also debatable whether or not propylene glycol is safe for inhalation.
It’s also important to remember that since e-cigarettes are still relatively new to the scene there aren’t many studies that can speak to its long term effects on our oral health. While it’s a better alternative for smokers, non-smokers who are curious about vaping should keep in mind that this recreational activity that can contribute to some major health concerns and the effects of vapor exposure aren’t largely known.
If you have any other questions about e-cigarettes please contact us for additional information.