No smoke, but fire. E-cigarettes and your dental health.

21 Dec 2017

E-cigarettes, are way more socially acceptable than conventional cigarettes, but are they really less harmful to the user?

While vaping is more tolerable and less harmful to others than its conventional counterpart, could E-cigarettes be just a more politically correct way to hook people on nicotine? Is it really a better health option as retailers and manufacturers would have you believe?

In an ordinary cigarette, the burning of tobacco releases smoke which delivers nicotine to the lungs via inhalation. E-cigarettes use a battery powered device to heat a nicotine loaded liquid, which is inhaled (vaping), delivering nicotine to the lungs.

E-cigarettes are not importable in commercial quantities to Australia, but they can be brought in for personal use. Since this product was launched on the market, their popularity has risen dramatically. The social acceptance of users of E-cigarettes over conventional cigarettes make smokers feel less ostracised.

While research has indicated that E-cigarettes don’t directly cause bad breath, plaque, and discolouration, the tough news is that nicotine ingestion even through an E-cigarettes can and does cause periodontal (gum) disease and can lead to oral cancer. So while the smoke and tar is not present to stain your teeth, nicotine remains the harmful element still. Nicotine will inhibit the production of saliva, leading to plaque build-up, bad breath and gum disease.

Anecdotal evidence on E-cigarettes indicates vaping causes ‘cotton mouth’ another term for dry mouth in the absence of saliva. It pays to reiterate here that dry mouth will lead to gum issues, tooth decay and tooth loss.

1.  For a while I was consistently very tired. That’s gone away now, but it was quite irritating at the time.

2. Because there are so many delicious flavours, my tendency had become to vape constantly. It took a conscious drive to slow down.

3. Vaping makes you very thirsty. It’s like it just sucks the water from your body.
4. Because of number 3, your mouth dries out and “cotton mouth” is a constant issue.
5. Because of number 4, breath can get bad if you don’t drink tons of water throughout the day.
6. This of course brings us to the main issue of the article -There is obvious (mortifying in fact) tooth decay along my gum line.

  •  I have good oral hygiene habits, so this is very disappointing. Whether anyone will read this whole thing or not, I obviously don’t know, but I felt a duty to mention that not only will nicotine cause tooth decay, dry mouth will too. Vaping WILL give you dry mouth.

Gum disease is a major threat to oral health. It has been linked to stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy complications, respiratory disease, diabetes, and even heart disease, which is the leading killer in Australia. Luckily, gum disease is preventable. Brushing and flossing consistently, seeing your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans –  and making good lifestyle choices can dramatically reduce your risk.

The manufacturers and retailers of E-cigarettes claim that the product is a cleaner and healthier therapeutic alternative that will help smokers kick the habit. In the absence of any proven scientific study to back this contention, the best option would be to avoid smoking or vaping altogether. Regardless of whether it poses less harmful effects to health than conventional cigarettes, experts concur that E-cigarettes are by no means safe while nicotine is present.


Check these Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Redness, tenderness, or swelling of gums
  • Loose or wobbly teeth
  • Gum recession

If you have any concerns about your gums, teeth and oral health, consult your dentist in Sydney without delay.


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