Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) and vaping have become popular over the last few years. One reason behind the sudden popularity is the promise of fewer health risks. While this sounds promising, few fail to realize the impact the chemicals used in vaping can pose to oral health. E-cigarettes don’t contain tar, like traditional cigarettes, but there are other aspects just as harmful to the teeth and gums.

What is an E-Cigarette?

An e-cigarette is an electronic device that works by heating a liquid or vape juice. When it reaches a certain temperature, it becomes a vapor which is then inhaled. This liquid is comprised of water, glycerin, flavorings, and propylene glycol. Even though there is no tar in the mixture, most vape juice does contain nicotine.

Is Vaping Safe for Mouths?

Taking away the tar is good since it can be harmful to your oral health. However, it is unclear how safe or unsafe the other chemicals may be since the research is in the early stages. Your Vienna, MO dental team is aware of the fact that chemicals in vape juice can harm your dental health. Here are a few potential hazards.

Inhaling Bacteria

When bacteria settle into the pits and divots of the teeth, it can contribute to cavities and tooth decay. The basic act of inhaling vapors from an e-cigarette can bring bacteria into the mouth. It’s the same as if you were eating sticky candies. These bacteria contribute to the buildup of plaque. Those who vape may find they are more prone to cavities, especially if they do not maintain good oral hygiene.

Dry Mouth

Vape juice contains propylene glycol, which can cause users to have dry mouth. It may not sound very serious, but it can lead to other, more serious, dental health problems. The saliva in your mouth acts as a natural defense and fights bacteria. Vaping introduces heat and chemicals into the mouth’s environment, removing some of the natural moisture. When there isn’t enough saliva to defend against bacteria, your risk of cavities and tooth decay increases. Other potential side effects of having dry mouth include painful sores inside your mouth and chronic bad breath.

Gum Disease and Vaping

Not only can extra bacteria impact your gum health, but vaping itself can also be harmful to the gums. Not only can you develop sores caused by dry mouth, but some may be sensitive to the chemicals in vape juice. The chemicals may inflame or irritate the gums. In severe cases, the gums may develop pockets, bleed, or begin to recede. These are all signs of gum disease.

Candy-Like Flavorings

One of the things making vaping so popular is the wide variety of flavors available. If you’ve been around someone who was vaping, you probably noticed how sweet the aroma was. The problem is that the flavorings can have the same properties found in sugary drinks and candies. Unfortunately, the flavorings can have the same effect of increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. 

If You Want to Vape

Studies are still being conducted to determine the full negative impact of vaping on dental health. Even though it is certain that e-cigarettes are not as harmful to your overall health as traditional cigarettes, they do pose some hazards. It’s important to know the risks associated with vaping. Dental professionals at Barnhart Dental offer these tips to lessen the dangers of vaping to your oral health. 

  • Avoid buying vape juice that contains nicotine.
  • Drink lots of water to help replace the moisture removed by vaping.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing every day.
  • Keep your regular dental appointments for checkups and cleanings.

Contact Barnhart Dental

Do you have questions about vaping and your oral health? Please contact us. Dr. Joseph and Dr. John Barnhart will be happy to help answer any questions you may have.

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