Is vaping a safe alternative to cigarettes?

As vaping has grown in popularity, so has the belief that it is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. While e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they do contain nicotine, which can be harmful. As the long-term effects of vaping continued to be studied, here are a few reasons you may want to reconsider picking up that vape pen when it comes to your teeth and oral health.

Nicotine – whether smoked or vaped – causes decreased saliva production and restricted blood flow in your mouth. Our mouths need saliva to rinse away harmful bacteria that cause plaque buildup, and tooth decay. And without proper blood flow, our gums don’t get oxygen and the nutrients they need leading to the death of gum tissue and gum recession.

A study published in the journal iScience showed that 43% of people using e-cigarettes had gum disease and oral infections. While lower than smokers, this is still far higher than among those who neither smoked nor vaped.

In addition to gum recession and tooth decay, other long-term issues associated with vaping include bruxism or grinding of teeth, gum disease, and increased risk of lung, gastrointestinal, pancreatic, oral, and breast cancer.

If you are a smoker or vape, it is important to stay on top of your dental health with regular check-ups. If it has been a while since your last dental check-up or you are looking for a new dentist, give Jackson Dental a call at 573-243-5200. We will be happy to work with you to determine the best course of treatment.