Studies are Raising Red Flags About Vaping.
As a holistic dentist and mother, the stories that I hear about vaping alarm me. Not just for the respiratory implications, but for the further reaching overall health concerns. Teens and adults alike are just unaware of the actual harm vaping has on their bodies and I’m glad to see that the discussion is taking root.
For the past few years we have been told that vaping is a safer form of nicotine ingestion than smoking. While research is still out on the full negative effects of vaping on not only your dental, but overall health, early signs are showing that vaping has its own very real side effects and health concerns. As a holistic dental team, we want to make sure that you have all the information before you even think about inhaling.
Impact of Smoking on Dental Health
To understand the full story on vaping, we need to look at why the industry is claiming it is safer than traditional cigarettes. Here’s what we know about the impact of smoking on our health.
Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body when smoking. Nicotine, tar, and other harmful chemicals hit your mouth immediately upon inhaling, so it isn’t hard to understand why the mouth is one part of your body that receives some of the worst side effects from smoking.
Beyond the unsightly yellow stains, indicative of a smoker, smoking weakens the protective enamel on your teeth, which can leave your teeth more susceptible to bacteria causing tooth sensitivity and tooth rot. This build-up of bacteria can also lead to gum disease. What’s most frightening for most smokers’ loved ones is the increased risk for oral cancer. With more than 7,000 chemicals contained within tobacco smoke, research has found that more than 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.
Vaping and Your Dental Health
While e-cigarettes are thought to be a better alternative to smoking because they don’t result in bad breath, tooth discolouration, and plaque build-up traditionally associated with cigarettes, they still provide very valid health risks. You still inhale nicotine and other chemically-enhanced substances through the mouth, making your teeth and soft tissue the first point of contact. We do know that nicotine, regardless of how it is ingested, reduces blood flow, which negatively impacts your mouth’s ability to fight off bacteria and leads to chronic dry mouth, both of which put you at an increased risk for gum disease.
Independent research conducted at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine shows that e-cigarettes lead to the suppression of key immune genes in your respiratory system and nasal passages, leading to the cases of respiratory disease we are hearing about on the news.
Plus, what makes vaping so attractive to some is the assortment of flavours offered, however these same flavourings can lead to irreversible cellular damage in your mouth. While regulatory bodies have deemed these flavours safe for oral ingestion, the effects of inhalation are admittedly unknown and early research indicates that it might not in fact be a safer alternative to smoking.
If you are vaping, we hope that you let our Oakville dental team know. The more we know, the more proactive we can be in our approach to your overall health. No judgment… we promise.
With a commitment to continuing education, Dr. Bis is at the forefront of holistic dentistry and values a collaborative approach with her patients. If you would like to learn more about our approach to family holistic dental care and/or cosmetic dentistry in Oakville; or have a question about your specific situation, get in touch with Oakville Dentist, Dr. Agatha Bis and her team by calling 905.338.6684 or by completing the form below.