E-cigarettes and vaping have been hailed to be the safer and healthier alternative to smoking. However, vaping still poses as much of a risk to your oral health as smoking does.
Vaping and its Effect on Teeth and Gums
Vaping still brings users into contact with nicotine, which reduces blood flow, and restricts the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the soft tissues of the mouth. This can cause gum tissue to start to recede and pull away from the tooth root. The exposure of the tooth root can lead to toothache and increase the risk of infection.
Reduced blood circulation and dry mouth, which is caused by the inhalation of smoke/vapour, also decreases the mouth’s natural ability to fight bacteria by decreasing the production of saliva. Without its natural protection, the mouth is at greater risk of developing tooth decay. If users continue to vape, and ignore their deteriorating oral health, over time, vaping can cause periodontal disease (advanced gum disease).
Some common symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Constant bad breath (halitosis)
- Irritated or bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Receding gum tissue
Early detection and treatment of gum disease is much more likely to be successful. The initial stages of gum disease can be treated and its effects can be completely reversed.
Vaping is a personal choice, but users should be aware of the risks to their dental health. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings will help protect your teeth and gums. Vapers should also take measures to combat dry mouth, which greatly increases the risk of bacterial infection in the mouth. Vapers can combat dry mouth by drinking lots of water, chew sugar-free gum, limit caffeine intake, and use mouthwash designed for dry mouth.