A big marketing strategy that e-cigarettes companies have used to improve sales and sell to more and more customers is the notion that they are safer than regular cigarettes. The reasoning behind this marketing strategy is that an e-cigarette’s oil is cleaner and doesn’t use smoke or have chemicals in it that produce carcinogens that then enter your body. Nicotine is instead introduced into your body from an oil vapor. “Vaping” may be marketed as safe, but it can unfortunately have huge oral health implications.
In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that e-cigarettes have not been fully studied. Consumers know there can be potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended, but may not know what all of the risks are. This is a serious problem, and there are many e-cigarette users that have no idea what kind of harm they are doing to their body, which includes your oral health.
What Are the Effects of Vaping on Gum Health?
Even if extensive research by the government has not been done on the negative effects of vaping, we do know that e-cigarettes still do cause problems we know about. Their main purpose is still to deliver nicotine to your body and that can cause harm to your mouth, gums and tongue. Nicotine may also contribute significantly to the development of gingivitis and periodontitis, which can cause bad breath and infections which can in turn start going into the rest of your body. Below are some other ways nicotine from vaping can impact your oral health:
- Causes Gum Recession: Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that can flow through your veins. Without sufficient blood flow, your gums don’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Nicotine basically chokes the tissues in your mouth from the blood that they need to survive, which in turn causes the gum recession. A Gum recession treatment would then be necessary to repair your gums and eliminate any tooth sensitivity you’d be experiencing.
- Masks The Symptoms of Gum Disease– Nicotine can hide the symptoms of gum disease, making it harder to be diagnosed. When you have gum disease your gums begin to get inflamed from the increased blood flow. As mentioned above nicotine reduces the amount of blood flow in your veins which makes diagnosing gum disease harder. If the progression of gum disease can’t be observed, diagnosed, and treated then things go from bad to worse rather quickly!
- Causes Bad Breath: Nicotine also inhibits your body’s ability to produce saliva. With not enough saliva you are more susceptible to bacteria buildup, dry mouth, and tooth decay which are all major causes of bad breath! Chewing gum, and mouth wash can hide your bad breath only temporarily as the root cause isn’t being treated.
If you’re thinking about using e-cigarettes or if you already use them you’ve got to watch out for the signs of gum disease. But like we have explained nicotine reduces the appearance of symptoms so it is a lot more difficult to determine. If you are concerned about your oral health because of the use of e-cigarettes then you need to come in to Dental Partners of Boston to consult with our experienced dentists. Dr. Guzman is our resident periodontist who can use his expertise to determine if you do in fact have gum disease which would need to be treated.
Ultimately the best prevention method of gum disease from vaping is to avoid the habit all together. It’s best to avoid any product that includes nicotine. If you show signs of gum disease from vaping and are willing to break the habit it is recommended that you visit our Boston dental office every three months to allow Dr. Guzman to treat and monitor the removal of any gum disease present in your mouth.
All of the dentists and staff at Dental Partners of Boston truly care about your oral health. You should as well! Give our Boston dental practice a call or schedule an appointment here today so we can help you to improve your smile and live a healthy happy life!