We all know that traditional smoking can put us at increased risk for many serious health concerns such as heart disease and cancer. But what about these newer, ‘safer’ electronic cigarettes that claim to help people quit smoking or at least cause fewer health risks? As it turns out, these ‘safe’ e-cigarettes come with a fairly large list of risks, too. Join our dental office in Austin as we share just how damaging using e-cigarettes can be.
Vaping and Overall Health
Using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, has been increasing in popularity in the United States over the past few years. While many manufacturers claim that these devices are safer than traditional cigarettes, research is starting to contradict that claim. Recent studies show a possible correlation between vaping and an increased risk of pneumonia, rapid heart rate, congestive heart failure, and stroke. While more research on the overall health effects of vaping needs to be done, many studies support that the ‘safer’ way to smoke simply isn’t safe.
Vaping and Oral Health
Similarly to studies on vaping and overall health, we need more research on the effects of vaping and oral health. However, the past few years of research have found possible links between vaping and risks to oral health, including:
- Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is an annoying and potentially dangerous condition that puts our mouths at risk for cavities as well as gum disease. One study found that vape juice, or e-cig aerosol, may increase the risk of dry mouth thanks to an ingredient called propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is known to cause dry mouth, and constantly exposing yourself to it can greatly increase your risk of developing dry mouth, getting cavities, or suffering from bad breath.
- Inflamed Gums
A 2016 study found that vaping, and again the vape juice, increases the chance of gum inflammation. Not only can this condition be uncomfortable, but it can also greatly increase your chance of gum disease if not treated.
- Cell Damage
Yet another study from 2018 suggested that vaping can damage cells’ DNA and even kill cells. The researchers also found that this cell damage is directly linked to bad breath, bone loss, tooth loss, and gum disease.
Even though e-cigarettes may have first claimed to be a safer alternative to traditional smoking, the growing research suggests differently. More research is needed to continue just how much vaping can affect our overall and oral health, but for now, it’s not looking good.
If you’ve switched from smoking traditional cigarettes to vaping, consider quitting altogether. The American Lung Association has some great advice and is a good place to start.
Of course, smoker or non-smoker, it’s still crucial to maintain regular visits to your dentist in Austin. These visits allow your dental team to keep a close eye on your oral health and diagnose any problems early while they’re often still easily treated.