With the rise of e-cigarettes around the world since 2018, there are many misconceptions in regards to vapes, vape pens, tanks and mods. Many brands such as JUUL and MYLE and many others are common accessories amongst the youth. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) stands for all the new electronic devices that have recently emerged in the nicotine industry.
There are many categories of e-cigarettes such as Cigalike, Vape pens, Box mod and Vape pods, of which all use nicotine in some form or the other. Although consumption of e-cigarettes is better than smoking cigarettes as it is generally accepted that it has less toxins than the electronic version. It has recently been discovered that e-cigarette have their own set of health effects especially when it relates to oral hygiene. It can lead to bad teeth and gums that could ultimately lead to requiring many dental procedures like veneers for damaged teeth.
So if you’re one of the consumers of the newly emerged nicotine market, wondering what kind of effects e-cigarettes have on your dental health, you’re in the right place for some insights.
Vaping Still Includes Nicotine Consumption
A lot of people claim that they started vaping in order to quit smoking but we find that there is nicotine consumption in both which continues to impact your dental health apart from other damage to lungs and your blood circulation.
Due to the high level of nicotine consumption that comes with vaping, it affects your dental and oral hygiene in various ways.
If you’re a habitual vape user, you know the constant feeling thirsty. This is because vaping reduces the saliva in your mouth causing it to feel dry and you to feel thirsty. Lack of saliva causes many issues such as plaque build up and increased bacteria. This can cause bad breath and dirty teeth.
With lack of saliva and increase in bacteria in the mouth, you risk tooth decay as your chances of scoring cavities increases.
Bruxism, also known as a teeth grinding condition can be triggered with excessive vaping. The nicotine inhaled during the use of vapes acts as a muscle stimulant and can cause you to grind, gnash or clench your teeth especially when you’re asleep. People with this condition often need to wear a mouth guard to avoid early tooth decay. Treatments such as invisalign transparent braces are also used to reprogram the jaw muscles involved with Bruxism.
It is no surprise that nicotine reduces blood flow. This is one of the reasons it is so bad for people with heart ailments however you should know that it also affects your gums. When blood flow is reduced, your gums do not get the required amount of oxygen and nutrients from the blood to function efficiently. This affects the health of your gums and causes receding gums that can affect your teeth and also increase the chances of getting a dental implant due to tooth loss.
The nicotine in smoking as well as vaping causes discoloration of the teeth. It causes the teeth to become stained or yellow in colour. This is the easiest tell sign for a dentist when you go for a regular check up or teeth cleaning.
Vaping Is (Still) Considered Smoking
Keeping in mind all the areas of concern due to vaping (and these are only the dental concerns), there are still many vape users that may find it hard to make a different lifestyle choice. This is not surprising as nicotine is an addictive substance and the concern is only becoming greater year after year. However, there are a few ways you can slowly try to get out of it or atleast reduce the effects of nicotine.
- Be mindful of how much you smoke in a day. Since most habitual vape users use devices that are not disposable, it is difficult to ascertain how much one has smoked in a day. It is recommended that you limit your usage only to certain hours during the day so you become more mindful of how much you are smoking.
- Drink ample amounts of water to wash off the plaque build up in your mouth. Vaping makes you more thirsty than usual because of the saliva reduction in your mouth. To ensure that your oral health is maintained, drink a little more water than the recommended amount for your body.
- Keep your hands busy so you don’t bother to touch the vape. It is an age old trick for nicotine users to have their hands busy so that they forget to smoke. The same applies for those using ENDS devices. Many objects such as a Stress ball or a Fidget spinner can help you keep your hands distracted.
Now that you know the drawbacks of using ENDS devices habitually,it is time to put some of the tricks mentioned to good use.
Do you still have the same mindset about vaping?