We often see electronic cigarettes or simply e-cigarettes marketed as a much safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, new research says it may not be the case, especially when it comes to your oral health.
According to researchers, the chemicals that are found in e-cigarette vapour are as damaging – if not more damaging – to mouth cells as smoke from tobacco. The damages include tooth loss, gum disease, and even mouth cancer.
How do e-cigarettes work?
An e-cigarette is battery-operated. It contains a heating device and a cartridge which holds the liquid solution. The heating device then vaporizes the liquid as the user takes a “puff” and the vapour is inhaled.
Many individuals turn to e-cigarette, vape pens, and hookah pens for their nicotine replacement when they are trying to quit cigarettes. For some, it’s all just recreational. Majority of the people who use e-cigarettes believe that they are harmless. But is it really as safe as they are advertised to be?
Effects of E-Cigarette on the Oral Cavity
Similar to cigarettes, the aerosol makes contact with the oral cavity when it is at its hottest. Some studies have shown that e-liquids contain toxins like di-ethylene glycol which is used in lead and chromium, too, among others. Also, the menthol additive in most e-cigarette liquids poses a negative effect on the epithelial cells and the fibroblasts within the periodontal ligament, just like conventional cigarettes do.
The effects on the oral cavity vary depending on the type of e-cigarette, frequency of use, and of course, individual response. The most common effects of vaping are in the form of xerostomia which can lead to various other oral health complications, including decay. Stomatitis may also appear on the palate, looking similar to dark pinpricks. Ulcerations and “burns” on the palate may also appear, but unfortunately, most patients don’t relate them to their use of e-cigarette because they don’t perceive it as harmful.
Vaping has become a big trend everywhere, especially to the younger population who rarely concern themselves about the long-term oral risks of e-cigarettes. But raising awareness and educating people about the risks can make all the difference.
If you want to know more about the negative effects of e-cigarette on your oral health and what you can do to address the already existing problems months of vaping has caused, call Pickering Square Dental. We’ll provide you with the best dental care possible so you can enjoy healthier teeth and gums!