The practice of vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is marketed as a healthy alternative to smoking cigarettes. While it’s true that vaping is free of the many harmful chemicals that are released by burning the tobacco leaves of cigarettes, it is far from a safe practice. In addition to other major health effects, vaping carries a substantial risk to the dental health of users. At Austin Preventative Dentistry and Austin Restorative Dentistry, we often treat patients who have experienced problems due to vaping.
This is a brief introduction to vaping, its effects on dental health, and what you can do to prevent or reduce the damage.
Vaping is the vaporization of a substance, usually nicotine, which the user then inhales. The process of making the vapor is powered by a small battery that heats the substance enough to become vapor in a similar way to producing steam. Vape pens, small handheld devices that are used for vaping, have become popular in recent years because they are very portable and convenient. You’ve likely seen lots of people vaping around your neighborhood or workplace.
Marketers have cleverly branded vaping as a safe alternative to cigarettes for people who are struggling to quit smoking but can’t seem to give up the habit. It is true that, overall, vaping is less harmful than cigarette smoking. Traditional cigarettes contain more than 7,000 toxic chemicals that wreak havoc on health – chemicals that do not exist in similar numbers in vaping products. However, that does not mean that vaping is safe by any means. Vaping is detrimental to your heart and lungs (in addition to your teeth and gums) and has actually been linked to several deaths associated with lung injury from the chemicals found in vaping products. Furthermore, vaping is as addictive as smoking and therefore just as hard to quit.
Although the general consensus is that vaping is better for oral health than cigarettes, it is not safe in any sense of the word. Vaping carries substantial risk to your teeth and gums. Some of the biggest dangers include:
• Propylene glycol, abbreviated as PG, is a chemical used across industries that found a new application for itself in the form of vaping. The role in vaping for PG is to act as a “carrier” for the vapor to ultimately reach the lungs of the user. It is toxic to human tissue, meaning it damages the gums.
• Vegetable glycerin and other flavoring additives damage the surface of the teeth called the enamel. In one study, researchers noted a 27% reduction in enamel hardness due to these flavoring agents.
• Nicotine, although in smaller amounts than in cigarettes, is still prevalent in vaping products. It is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it restricts blood flow to the gums.
The dentists as Austin Dental SPA are trained to identify the signs of damage from vaping and to design the right treatment plan for you.
If you are attempting to quit vaping or would like to know the extent of damage it may have caused, come visit us at Austin Preventative Dentistry and Austin Restorative Dentistry for a consultation. Our expert providers at Austin Dental SPA are ready to begin your treatment.
Our team is ready to book your appointment. The proper Dental Care can make the difference in years to come. We don't just improve the aesthetics of your smile, we make sure your dental health is set for the long run.