Pretty much everyone knows how bad smoking tobacco is for your mouth (as well as your body in general). Not only does it increase your risk for gum disease, but it can even lead to oral cancer. However, some people think e-cigarettes might be a more tooth-friendly alternative. Unfortunately, your dentist in Brampton can tell you that this is not the case; even without any tobacco, vaping can have a devastating effect on your smile.
What is Vaping?
Vaping gets its name from the vapor that e-cigarettes produce. It might look harmless, especially compared to traditional tobacco smoke, but it still contains nicotine as well as particles of heavy metals and toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer and heart disease. While vaping is still relatively new and is still being studied, current data already suggests that it can damage your lungs and blood cells, leave you more susceptible to heart disease, and weaken your immune system.
How Does Vaping Affect Your Teeth and Gums?
Even without tobacco, the nicotine used in vaping can do plenty of damage to your teeth and gums on its own. Specifically, it can cause:
- Gum Recession: Nicotine slows the flow of blood in your gums, preventing them from getting the oxygen and nutrients they need. This causes the gum tissue to die and recede, exposing the roots of your teeth and leaving them vulnerable to cavities. In many cases, receding gums ultimately lead to tooth loss.
- Dry Mouth: Saliva helps neutralize the acids that cause plaque buildup and tooth decay. Nicotine suppresses saliva production, robbing you of its important health benefits.
- Bruxism: When you inhale nicotine, it stimulates your muscles. This may cause you to unconsciously grind your teeth; if you already grind them, the problem becomes even worse
- Gum Disease: Nicotine causes your gums to become inflamed; when combined with dry mouth, this could easily lead to gum disease.
How Can You Keep Your Smile Healthy If You Vape?
If you use e-cigarettes, you should obviously stop as soon as possible. In the meantime, you’ll need to pay extra attention to your dental health. Drink a glass of water after vaping to avoid dry mouth. Maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine; that is, brush at least twice a day and don’t forget to floss before you go to bed. You should see your dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least once every six months, although you might need to make more frequent appointments if you have gum disease.
Call your dentist right away if you notice symptoms like bleeding gums, frequent dry mouth, or loose teeth that could be a sign of a severe oral health issue. And of course, the sooner you find help for dropping the vaping habit altogether, the safer your smile will be in the long run.
About the Practice
At Torbram Dental, we make sure all our patients, young and old, get the excellent care they need to prevent cavities and gum disease. We combine advanced technology with a personal approach so that you always feel comfortable while receiving high-quality treatment. To schedule an appointment or get tips on how to quit vaping, you can contact us by visiting our website or calling (905) 792-7163.