It is clear to most people in the US that smoking tobacco is bad for your oral health, but to what extent? People are still divided or not convinced at how damaging smoking really is.
Here are the facts: Smoking will drastically increase the chances of chronic bad breath, gum disease, and even the risk of oral cancer increases significantly. According to WebMD, tobacco products can lead to gum disease by interfering with the regular function of the gum tissue cells which makes smokers more susceptible to gum disease, blood flow to gums, and infections. As people became more aware of the consequences of smoking cigarettes, an alternative known as e-cigarettes were invented and now dominate the nicotine industry. The use of an e-cigarette is known as ‘vaping’.
Vaping is often viewed as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes because there isn’t tobacco smoke. Many people don’t realize that the ‘vapor’ in an e-cigarette is not harmless water vapor, but it is actually an aerosol that contains nicotine and very fine particles of heavy metals and very toxic chemicals. According to the National Institute of Health, nicotine in general (whether it is vaped, patches, smoked, etc.) can cause gum recession because it reduces the blood flow to the gums. Nicotine can also reduce the saliva in your mouth which causes a dry mouth that lets plaque buildup, tooth decay, and also plaque buildup. Vaping can also induce an inflammatory response in gum tissues that will cause periodontal diseases. More research needs to be done to understand the full extent of both the short and long-term effects of vaping.
Bottom line: Although the long-term effects of vaping are unknown, it has been proven that the consumption of nicotine, whether vaping or smoking, will drastically increase the chances of gum disease, gum recession, oral cancer, and plaque buildup. If you would like more information on what you can do to keep your mouth nice and healthy, contact us at (480) 462-7350 for a consultation.