At Streamwood Family Dentistry, our mission is to provide the best quality dental care in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere while educating our community to improve dental health and overall well being of everyone in Streamwood, IL and surrounding areas.
Everyone knows tobacco is bad for our oral health. From having higher risks of gum disease and oral cancer to bad breath, the research is very definitive about smoking effects on dental health.
For those who choose to use e-cigarettes or “vapes,” you might assume you’re making a healthier choice over traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco. That’s not completely true; since are still some hazardous substances in vapes which can impact our health negatively.
However, you’re never going to get the green light from your dentist to use them. Here’s why:
For those that don’t know……What Is Vaping?
Vapes, or vaporizers, are products that use battery power to warm a liquid to create a vapor, which you inhale. The liquid contains a base such as propylene glycol (used in a wide variety of household items, from hand sanitizer to cosmetics and other food products), a mix of flavorings, and usually nicotine. There are now vapes that can also be used with marijuana as the whole legalization of marijuana takes center stage of debate in our country.
But the health effects of even the “less bad” option can still do some major harm.
How Vaping Affects Your Oral Health
- It Reduces blood flow to tissues in your mouth. Most vapes deliver nicotine to your lungs via your mouth. You can choose the amount of nicotine in the liquid (“juice”) you use, but any amount of nicotine is addictive. Nicotine reduces blood flow, which limits the amount of oxygen to oral tissues in the mouth. This means that your mouth will be slower to heal from gum inflammation and infection, or any trauma.
- It Reduces ability of gum tissue to repair itself. Special types of cells in our gum tissue called fibroblasts, are constantly at work repairing and replacing tissue. Nicotine reduces the ability of these cells to do this important work.
- It increases amount of inflammatory markers. A recent study showed that the flavorings in vapes can cause higher levels of inflammatory proteins in gum tissue. Such proteins are created when our bodies sense something is not right. We have higher levels when we are sick with a cold, for instance. Elevated levels mean the body is stressed. Consistently elevated levels of inflammatory proteins have been associated with other more morbid conditions such as Alzheimer’s, depression, and heart disease.
During Your Next Visit @ Streamwood Family Dentistry
So, next time you’re in for your check-up visit, ask Dr. Shah if your examination reveals any signs or concerns that may be related to vape use, such as receding gums, gum inflammation, ongoing infections, or tooth loss. If you want to reduce the damage, but can’t give up vaping, then do it less often and choose lower amounts of nicotine in the juice you use. But if you’re looking to attain the healthiest and brightest smile of all your friends, your best bet is to give it up altogether. It will improve your smile and save some money
As always, call us at (847) 740-0219 to schedule your dental appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon.