Mouth Cancer Awareness: Is vaping bad for your teeth, and how does it affect dental health?
According to Action on Smoking and Health, 2.9 million people now use electronic (e-) cigarettes, or ‘vapes’, in Britain.
There are more ex-smokers now using e-cigarettes than current smokers, and the main reason given for taking up vaping was to stop smoking tobacco.
“If there is 1% chance of anybody getting addicted to nicotine or inhaling cancer-causing chemicals it is n NO-GO for me” – Dr. Tromp when asked if vaping is bad for your teeth.
As far as dental care goes, it is very positive that so many vapers have given up smoking cigarettes.
Health bodies in the UK and the rest of the world continue to maintain that vaping is almost certainly better than smoking tobacco, although it does continue to reinforce habitual behaviour.
Simply stated, not smoking remains one of the central tenets of good, preventative dental care. That, alongside a healthy diet and efficient cleaning routine, on top of regular dental appointments.
Despite the fact that vaping can be considered less harmful than cigarettes, one fact remains: there are many unknowns about vaping. There simply isn’t enough long-term evidence available yet to give a full picture of vaping and its effect on your oral health.
Some studies indicate that experienced vapers may achieve exposure in “concentrations similar to those produced from traditional cigarettes”. Nicotine can have various local effects on oral tissue.
The relationship between periodontal disease and tooth loss is well established, as is the relationship with various systemic diseases, which can be life limiting.
Patients who vape may also have a regular, dry cough or complain of xerostomia.
While we wait for long-term studies, which will enable evidence-based practice and protocols, we highly recommend preventative daily dental care – this is the only approach to take.
Learning the correct brushing technique, using high-quality tools and enhancing your daily routine with appropriate adjunctive products will allow our patients who vape to keep their mouths clean, reducing the risk of future problems.
While your mouth is fresh and your smile healthy, you might think twice about putting a vape in your mouth and the potential harm that it could cause to your pearly whites.
If you would like to discuss vaping and its effects on your oral health in more detail, make an appointment with Dr. Tromp and he will gladly advise accordingly.
*Text adapted from an article by Rachel Pointer, The Probe, November 2018
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