E-cigs are the popular new kid in town- almost one in 20 adults in the United States now use electronic cigarettes according to Reuter Health. Many users believe that using e-cigs and “vaping” is a healthier way to consume tobacco, however studies that research these products have come to find that the chemicals present in electronic cigarette vapor are equally as damaging, if not more damaging, as cigarettes on mouth cells.
E-cigarettes use a battery operated heating mechanism to heat liquid containing nicotine, flavoring agents and other chemicals. While the liquids in e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, nicotine and flavoring agents have been found to cause inflammation to mouth cells which can result in damage to gum tissue that is comparable to the damage caused by tobacco exposure.
So why is it that your Krengel Dental team is warning you about the latest fad for smokers? Well, here are three other health concerns that come with using e-cigarettes
1. They dry out your mouth
While there is some evidence that vapor is less toxic than smoke, regular exposure to vapor has been shown to increase the rate of death to mouth cells quite rapidly. Nicotine vapor dries out your mouth, reducing your amount of saliva flow which often leads to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It isn’t just tobacco or smoke that leads to mouth dryness that can get in the way of your bodies natural way of cleaning teeth with saliva, and unfortunately, less saliva flow means more risk to your dental health.
2. Nicotine is still Nicotine
E-cigarettes’ big claim to fame is that they do not contain the dangerous chemicals found in tobacco products. While this is true, nicotine is a stimulant on its own that is powerfully addictive and comes with it’s own side effects. Increased teeth grinding and reduced blood flow are two side effects caused by stimulants like nicotine.
3. We don’t know much
Unfortunately, when a new fad comes along, the research takes time to follow. We do not yet understand the potential risks that come alongside using e-cigs. What we do know is that research has shown reason to be weary in that findings report an increase in the rate of damage and death to cells in the mouth. While the cumulative effects are still unclear, it’s looking like these e-cigs may not be any healthier as a replacement to cigarettes.
Have any questions about the health risks associated with e-cigs or cigarettes? Give one of our friendly team members a call for a consultation or to schedule an appointment at 952-888-1311.