Posted on 7/10/2019 by Brandon Cooley
|We have been telling our patients for years about the ill effects that smoking cigarettes has on your oral health. Cigarettes stain your teeth. Smoking after dental procedures like extractions, implants and root canals make you heal more slowly. Where implants are concerned smoking can even affect the outcome of your implant. And then there are your gums.
Cigarette smoke irritates them and can contribute to gum disease. Cigarette smoking also contributes to poor health in general. To avoid many of the health problems caused by cigarette smoking due to the additives in tobacco, vaping was invented.
When you vape instead of smoke you are inhaling a heated oil made of flavoring, nicotine and glycerin or some other carrier oil. The jury is still out on whether it affects your lung health, but what about your oral health. Does it affect that too? As with the effects it has on your general health, research is also ongoing regarding the effect vaping has on your oral health. So, what do we know about vaping and oral health?
What Studies Have Shown
What we know for certain is the effect nicotine itself has on your oral health. First, nicotine restricts blood flow. That means that less oxygen and nutrients are flowing to the parts of the body that need it. Your gums are directly affected by this. The reduced blood flow can cause your gums to recede because the gum cells that get insufficient blood flow simply die.
Another direct connection to nicotine is that nicotine causes the body to produce less saliva. In other words, it gives you dry mouth. This lack of saliva causes bacteria to stay on your teeth that the saliva would otherwise have washed away. This, in turn, allows decay to begin. One other problem is that nicotine is a stimulant, so if you grind your teeth, you may grind them more.
If you vape let us know. We would be happy to keep track of any changes in your oral health should any appear. We can also share any updates in studies that have been done so you can make informed choices.