Have you ever wondered how dental offices protect patients from infection? After all, dental offices see numerous patients each day, and they deal with each one directly.The fact is dental offices are extremely careful when it comes to working with patients and ensuring infection does not spread to other visitors.As successful as dental offices are…
Ask a Dental Office: How Can Vaping Affect Your Teeth?
A frequent question that has become prevalent in almost every dental office is if vaping is bad for one’s teeth. Vaping does carry numerous harmful side effects that should be taken into consideration before accepting the risk inherent in vaping.
What is the difference between vaping and smoking?
Vaping is quite different from traditional smoking in large part due to the composition of the inhaled element in each.
As the name implies, a vaping device utilizes vapor to obtain the effects of the chosen drug. Most vape juice, the liquid in vaping, consists of water, vegetable glycerin and nicotine. When heated, the mixture turns to an inhalable vapor.
With traditional smoking, the method of conveyance might be a pipe, cigar or cigarette. The solid material inside the device, usually tobacco and nicotine, is burned. The smoke from the burning material is then inhaled into the lungs.
Regardless of the conveyance method, foreign substances enter the body. However, some dental offices have determined that smoking is worse for a person, due to ingestion of solid matter further into the lungs. Due to the oral intake of vaping and smoking, areas of the mouth are heavily affected by both. Therefore, most dental offices will say that both are ultimately detrimental to oral health.
Bacteria and cavities
Inhaling a vapor can introduce a lot of bacteria into one’s mouth. Over time, these bacteria can coat the teeth, leading to higher chances of cavities and a buildup of plaque, which in turn can cause tooth decay.
Loss of enamel
Many people do now know that teeth are porous. Droplets of moisture from the vapor can settle in the natural holes of teeth contributing to eventual tooth decay. The chemicals contained in vapor can destroy the enamel of teeth as well. Enamel is the protective cover on teeth. Enamel is non-renewable, so once it wears off, it is gone for good. The teeth become more susceptible to bacteria and other factors that create tooth decay.
Nicotine and teeth grinding
Nicotine is an additive that acts as a stimulant. Some people grind their teeth as a result of the increased energy caused by ingesting nicotine. Grinding teeth is a terrible dental habit that wears down the teeth, potentially leading to small fractures and further dental problems.
Many of the factors listed above will lead to one’s teeth being sensitive, which could manifest in a dull ache or sharp pain when exposed to hot, cold or sugary foods. The pain will not subside unless there is the removal of the chemicals causing the damage and any further issues caused by the chemicals addressed.
Along with being a stimulant, nicotine also reduces blood flow. Gums rely on a healthy supply of oxygenated blood to remain strong, so frequent absorption of nicotine directly harms the gums. This reduced circulation also hampers the mouth’s ability to fight against bacteria, which might lead to other problems with infection or gum health. The tongue may start to feel sensitive or even numb; this could be a sign of nerve damage from reduced blood flow.
Receding gums and gingivitis
In addition to direct harm to the gums, reduced blood flow may also lead to gingivitis, a form of gum disease. Gums can recede or swell depending on the type of gum disease. Receding gums can lead to teeth becoming loose as the gums are no longer holding them in place. Bloated gums cause much pain when eating. Both symptoms require immediate dental attention.
Vaping is not as harmful as cigarettes, but that does not mean it is not harmful. Because of the misconception of vaping as harmless, more damage is being caused by vaping. Good dental health is crucial, and patients should avoid vaping if they care about maintaining healthy teeth and gums for years to come.
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