Vaping And Dental Health
In 2018, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reported that vaping is on the rise, with 3.6 million partakers in the UK. Many people consider vaping to be a healthier choice than smoking, but is this perception right?
While it’s true that vapes don’t contain tar, a cancer-causing substance created through burning tobacco and plant material, the jury is still out on its long-term effects. However, it has still be shown to have negative effects on your dental health, and in this post, our dentists, based near Newark, share a few of them.
1. Vaper’s tongue
Smoking has been known to affect your sense of taste over time. Research suggests that this is because the shape and sensitivity of the taste buds is affected, as well as the formation of blood vessels. Vaping has been linked to a similar phenomenon, nicknamed ‘vaper’s tongue’, however it many not be permanent and does depend on how much, and how often, you vape.
2. Dry mouth
E-cigarettes can cause dry mouth, owing to certain base liquids used in vape juices. Over time, dryness can cause sores in the mouth, as well as tooth decay. This is because there’s a lack of saliva being produced – and our spit actually contains enamel-fortifying minerals.
Many dentists recommend chewing gum instead of smoking, or vaping and with countless nicotine gums available on the market, this could be a way to help you kick the habit once and for all. Chewing gum can also increase saliva production in the mouth, which has lots of oral health benefits. One word of warning, however – always opt for sugar-free varieties.
3. Increase in bacteria
The more bacteria in the mouth, the greater the chance of plaque developing, which can lead to tooth decay and ultimately, tooth loss. Oral bacteria can also cause gum disease further down the line, or could result in problems that need more advanced treatment, such as root canal.
If you smoke or vape, our dentists recommend a good oral health routine, with brushing and flossing twice-daily, to try to keep bacteria under control.
4. Sore throat
Vaping can irritate areas of the mouth and throat, leading to swelling, soreness and redness. This is thought to be due to glycerol, a sweet-tasting liquid used in many vape juices, which becomes a fine spray during vaping.
Regular check-ups with your dentist could help identify this, if you are susceptible.
5. Gum disease
Vapes may cause an inflammatory response in the tissues of the gums – and the more (and longer) the gums are inflamed, the more likely it is to develop periodontal disease. In time, this could lead to tooth and bone loss.
Our dentists do have treatments available in cases of tooth loss, for instance dental implants. However, for dental implants to be successful, adequate bone and gum tissue is needed to support