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Vaping and Oral Health

Vaping and Oral Health

Tobacco and cigarette usage has been decreasing steadily since 2014. The adverse effects of nicotine in cigarettes are widely known and accepted. There is, however. a misconception that e-cigarette usage, also known as vaping or jouling, is a safe alternative to smoking tobacco products. Thus, the incidence of vaping/jouling is on the rise, especially among high school and middle school students, who are further enticed by flavorings added to e-cigarettes by the products’ manufacturers.

Although e-cigarettes have lower nicotine levels than traditional cigarettes, they are not safe. There are 3 components of vaping that are unsafe and are detrimental to your oral health and your overall health.

Propylene Glycol
This synthetic compoundIt can be found in various edible items such as liquid sweeteners, ice cream, and whipped dairy products. However, when propylene glycol is used in e-cigarettes, it breaks down into acetic acid and lactic acid, which are detrimental to enamel and soft tissue. These acids cause tissue desiccation, or dry mouth, which leads to increase risk of cavities and gum disease.

Vegetable Glycerin and Flavors
Vegetable glycerin is a colorless, odorless, viscous, and sweet-tasting liquid. When VG combines with the flavorings of e-cigarettes, it increases the microbial adhesion to enamel and formation of biofilm. This allows more cavity-causing bacteria to stick to teeth and can lead to rampant decay.

Nicotine
Although the percentage of nicotine in e-cigarettes is much lower than traditional tobacco products, the dangerous effects of nicotine on gum tissue and the rest of the body are still present. Nicotine increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and dry mouth to name a few adverse side effects.

Vaping is neither healthy nor safe. The nicotine in e-cigarettes is addictive. If you start vaping, it will be difficult to quit. Nicotine is as difficult to give up as heroin.

Your health is your most important asset.

Author
Dr. Ann N. Hebda Dentist/owner Complete Health Dentistry Ashburn Virginia

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