Smoking & Vaping’s Impact on Dental Care
Electronic cigarettes and vapes are all the rage nowadays.
Vaping occurs when you inhale the vapours created by liquid tobacco. Vaping has been pushed as the best and healthiest alternative to traditional cigarettes. While research into vaping is still new and ongoing, it is clear that even vaping has disastrous consequences for your teeth.
While vaping does not always result in bad breath, it often leads to the discoloration of the teeth and plaque build-up just like any brand of cigarette you would smoke. Although e-cigarettes release vapor, the fact remains that you still inhale nicotine, which reduces blood flow and affects your mouth’s capacity to ward off bad bacteria, which can lead to serious infections such as periodontal disease.
How Does Vaping Affect the Teeth and Gums?
Initially, it was thought and assumed that since e-cigarettes are designed to release a smokeless vapor, they would be a much better alternative. Vaping may be better for non-smokers as it does not produce secondhand smoke that can be harmful. However, when the teeth and gums come into contact with nicotine, it can restrict the number of nutrients being transported to the soft tissues as a result of reduced blood flow.
Vaping can also cause gums to recede from the root of the tooth, which can pave way for a whole set of issues. Infections, rates of decays and a host of other dental issues can be accelerated the more one vapes. When it is carried on for long enough, it can even lead to the loss of teeth in extreme situations. Patients should visit the dentist for a check-up if they start to notice:
- Extreme halitosis or the presence of constant bad breath
- Redness, irritation or bleeding of the gums
- Tender and swollen gums
- Shaky teeth or a sudden loss of teeth
- Receded gum tissue
When gum disease is caught and treated early, the treatment given is a lot more likely to yield positive results. Early treatment and care are important because it can prevent the problems from worsening and consequently save you money that you would otherwise have spent on dental implants.
Vaping is a personal choice; whether you are doing it to replace traditional cigarettes or are simply doing it to fit in, you should be fully aware of all the risks involved. As such, regular checkups with your dentist are encouraged so that your teeth can be cleaned professionally and so that your gums can be protected.