Vaping was once thought to be the best alternative for smokers who wanted to get away from tobacco, but couldn’t quite kick the habit. After all, vaping was thought to help people avoid the risks posed by smoking tobacco and it offered more pleasant taste experiences. Unfortunately, the latest research indicates that vaping may not be the safe alternative people once believed. More and more evidence is coming to light that indicates vaping may present its own health dangers.
In fact, Jerome M. Adams, who is the current U.S. Surgeon General, has expressed concern over the widespread use of vaping by teenagers. He has called it an epidemic, indicating that the use of vaping products is more harmful than the average teenager realizes.
Justifying the surgeon general’s concerns that vaping has become an epidemic among teens, a recent survey conducted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) found that vaping was extremely widespread across the country. In 2017, the number of teens under the age of 18 who had smoked an e-cigarette at least once reached 1.5 million. Within one year, that number had more than doubled with over 3.6 million teens admitting to having smoked an e-cigarette.
One primary concern that teens and young adults should be aware of is that vaping can negatively affect dental health. While research conducted late last year admitted that vaping does cause far fewer oral health risks than tobacco smoking, many dentists believe otherwise. Since e-cigarettes are still fairly new, little research has been done to determine the true effects it can have on dental health, or the damage it can do to the physical body. As more data is gathered, researchers will be able to conduct a more thorough research, enabling them to arrive at more conclusive results.
Already, we know that certain elements in e-cigarette vapor are harmful to oral health. Particularly, the vapor does contain nicotine. While the nicotine levels in e-cigarettes aren’t quite as potent as those in tobacco cigarettes, it does produce damaging effects on the teeth and gums. Nicotine causes the blood vessels in the mouth to restrict, which forces the gum tissue to recede. As the gum tissue recedes, the lower portion of the teeth will be exposed and can be damaged by bacteria and foreign food particles. This raises the risks of developing tooth decay and bone loss.
The vaping liquids used in e-cigarettes is also a common cause of cottonmouth, or mouth dryness. When the mouth loses its moistness, mouth sores tend to develop and the chances of developing cavities becomes greater. A dry mouth is also a leading cause of bad breath.
Another factor that people don’t consider is that vaping employs the same sucking action used to smoke tobacco cigarettes. The force used to draw in smoke, or vapor in this case, creates suctioning that pulls at the teeth. Over time, the top front teeth will begin to bow outwards, creating an overbite. Depending upon how frequently you use your e-cigarettes, it may not be long before you need braces or a retainer to correct your smile.
On a positive note, many people say that quitting e-cigarettes is far easier than quitting tobacco products. If you do vape, quitting now can help you preserve your healthy teeth and gum tissue. It may also save you from developing an addiction to another harmful product.