November 13, 2016
You notice it more and more as time goes on: you walk outside a bar or restaurant and you’re immediately hit by a large cloud of smoke. Vaping is becoming more ubiquitous each day, but people still have questions about how it can affect their health. Traditional cigarettes are very bad for your oral health, but is vaping any better? Your dentist in Edison at Resnick and Rosenfeld lets you know more about this current trend, and how it relates to your oral health.
Vaping and Oral Health
When someone vapes, they are inhaling heated water vapor as opposed to smoke from tobacco. This had led many people to think it is more healthy that smoking cigarettes, and in this particular regard, they are correct. However, both still have nicotine derived from the tobacco plant, and this is what creates the stimulant effect. This is the same nicotine found in regular cigarettes, which means it presents the same health concerns.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it constricts blood vessels and makes blood flow more difficult. Whenever someone vapes, it constricts the vessels specifically in the gums, and this is problematic for a few reasons.
This lack of blood flow makes gums more vulnerable to gum disease, which is the most common disease in the U.S. Gum disease can start very subtly with just swelling and redness, but can eventually lead to gums that recede and have painful pockets of bacteria on them. This, in turn, exposes the sensitive enamel around the roots of your teeth. This makes them more susceptible to decay, and once the roots start to break down, it’s very easy for your teeth to fall out.
This is only in the case of extreme gum disease, but the other problem with vaping is that it actually masks the initial signs. The constricted blood flow can hide the swelling and redness that would typically indicate gum disease, meaning that it may be difficult for you to notice before it becomes advanced.
In lieu of all this information, there are a few things you can do.
Actions You Can Take
Research is still being done on the health effects of vaping, so with that in mind, in addition to its contribution to gum disease, it’s a good idea to moderate your exposure to it. If nothing else, it will be a positive thing for your oral health.
As always, you should continue to brush and floss your teeth, as well as get routine check-ups with your Edison dentist at Resnick and Rosenfeld. The doctors will always examine your gums whenever you come into the office. These are the keys to preventing gum disease, whether you are exposed to vaping or not.
Vaping might seem better than cigarettes on the surface, but it can still affect your oral health in a negative way. Until all the science has been compiled, do your best to always be aware if you’re being exposed to it.
If you have any other questions about vaping and how it can affect your oral health, please give us a call today.
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