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Unveiling the Impact of Vaping on Your Oral Health

Unveiling the Impact of Vaping on Your Oral Health

Vaping, the inhalation of aerosolised liquid, is often considered a less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. However, the repercussions on oral health paint a different picture. With a rising trend in vaping among adolescents and young adults, it’s crucial to understand the potential negative effects on the oral cavity.

The Components of Concern

E-cigarettes contain a liquid, known as e-liquid, composed of various chemicals like nicotine, propylene glycol, menthol, and flavourings. While users often turn to e-cigarettes for smoking cessation or recreational purposes, the oral health implications are often underestimated.

  • Nicotine’s Impact: Nicotine, known for its adverse effects on gum tissue, reduces blood flow, compromises immune cell function, and hampers connective tissue turnover. Despite lower nicotine percentages than traditional tobacco, one e-liquid cartridge can equate to two to three packs of cigarettes.
  • Propylene Glycol (PG) Concerns: A key ingredient in e-cigarettes, PG poses significant risks to gums and teeth. Its breakdown products are toxic to tooth structure, eroding enamel and leaving teeth susceptible to decay. PG also diminishes saliva production, resulting in ‘dry mouth’ and associated issues like bad breath, heightened gum disease risk, and increased cavity prevalence.
  • Flavoured E-Liquids Impact: Popular among users, flavoured e-liquids contribute to heightened gum inflammation compared to non-flavoured counterparts. Their increased viscosity fosters the tight adherence of bacteria to teeth, leading to escalated plaque accumulation and rampant decay.

Mitigating the Side Effects

For those who choose to vape, minimising side effects involves adopting the following practices:

  • Stay Hydrated: Combat ‘dry mouth’ and alleviate associated bad breath by drinking water after vaping.
  • Control Nicotine Intake: Opt for low-nicotine or nicotine-free e-liquids to reduce the negative impact on teeth and gums.
  • Maintain Daily Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss regularly to counter additional plaque build-up resulting from vaping and promote overall oral health.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule dental check-ups every six months to detect and address gum disease and cavities early, addressing underlying oral health issues.

Seek Professional Help

If you experience abnormal side effects from vaping, such as loose teeth, persistent mouth ulcers, receding gums, dry mouth, toothache, gum pain, or bleeding, consult a dentist or oral healthcare provider promptly.

While implementing strategies to minimise side effects is essential, the ultimate benefit to your oral cavity lies in considering cessation. Consult with your dentist, doctor, or Quitline to devise effective strategies for a healthier oral journey.

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