In the past few years, vaping has taken the world by storm, rapidly becoming a multibillion-dollar industry. But, how do e-cigarettes and their vapors impact your oral health? And, are these popular devices safer than cigarettes? This month, we're breaking down everything you need to know about vaping so you can make informed choices for your healthiest smile.
How does vaping impact oral health?
When e-cigarettes were first invented, they appeared to be a promising solution for smokers: a tar-free device delivering nicotine without the risks. However, as new research and health issues emerge, it has become clear that e-cigarettes are certainly not risk free. Vapes come in all shapes and sizes. But no matter which type of e-cigarette you use, you expose your mouth, teeth, lips, and face to the vaporizer device and its vapor. This contact poses two problems for your oral health.
Firstly, vapes have been known to explode. Between 2015 and 2017, over 2,000 people were admitted to the hospital because of these explosions. While most injuries were simple burns or cuts, some were more extreme. Vape-related explosions have led to jaw loss, tooth loss, and even death. Though uncommon, these device malfunctions pose a significant threat to safety - not only to the vape user but also to those in the surrounding area.
Secondly, contact between vapors and the mouth is worrying. Unregulated, flavorful vapors that appeal to teens are dangerous. Studies have shown that many contain mislabeled or unlabeled ingredients ranging from carcinogens, to formaldehyde and high nicotine levels. By exposing the mouth directly to these chemicals, people risk potentially serious health problems. And, by vaping in public areas or inside homes, users expose others to these same toxins via second-hand vapor.
Even when users purchase regulated vapor pods, they still incur all the risks of nicotine-related health problems. Nicotine is associated with dry mouth, increased bacteria in the mouth, and inflammation. Some studies link vapes to both gum disease and cavities. Plus, vaping is associated with increased odds of cigarette smoking - a known cause of cancers.
Quit vaping today
Every day, medical professionals are learning more about the negative short- and long-term effects of e-cigarettes and vapors. Because of this, we strongly advise our patients to quit or, better yet, never start vaping.
And if your child is one of the 40% of high schoolers who is vaping, help them quit. Vaping can have serious consequences on your child's health - plus, it is illegal to purchase vapor pods under the age of 21 in Ohio.
Resources for a vape-free life
We understand that quitting e-cigarettes can be a difficult process. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help ease your transition to a vape-free life.
For young people, Smokefree Teen and My Life, My Quit can help provide necessary (and confidential) text and phone support. And for adults, Smokefree offers confidential counselors as well as text and phone support to make quitting a reality.
Click below to visit Smokefree, Smokefree Teen, and My Life, My Quit - it's time to quit vaping for good!