E-cigarettes and Your Oral Health

We all know smoking is bad for you

It has been pretty well established that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, cigarette smoke adversely affects the autoimmune system, blood, bones, heart, lungs, reproductive system, and heart. It has also been attributed to 16 different types of cancers throughout the body, including oral cancer. From a dental perspective, smoking cigarettes is very bad for your oral health causing bad breath, tooth discoloration, tartar buildup, gum disease, and oral cancer.

But what about e-cigarettes or vaping?

E-cigaretteYou may have noticed over the past few years the introduction and rising popularity of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. This is a concern to us at Seven Lakes Dental in Smokey Point, WA, so we decided to do some research and create this blog post.  E-cigarettes have been advertised by e-cigarette manufacturers as a safe alternative to traditional cigarette smoking. But are they really safe? What about oral health? They don’t produce smoke so are they better for your teeth?

The short answer is that e-cigarettes are better than traditional cigarettes, but don’t go jumping on the vaping band wagon just yet. Being better than something as bad for you as cigarettes doesn’t mean that they are good for you. There are still some obvious concerns with e-cigarettes. The first being that their entire purpose is to give your body nicotine! Nicotine is a toxic drug that is addictive and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, birth defects, and poisoning. Along with nicotine, e-cigarette vapor has been found to contain formaldehyde, carcinogens, heavy metals, and other chemicals.

E-cigarettes don’t produce smoke, but produce vapor from liquid. That liquid is a mix of nicotine, water, flavors, and chemicals. The vapor does not cause discoloration, plaque buildup or bad breath like traditional cigarettes do, which is good. However, nicotine inhibits your ability to produce saliva, which can leave you susceptible to bacteria buildup, dry mouth, and tooth decay. Low saliva levels can cause quicker tooth decay, sore gums, and eventually a loosening of the teeth. Nicotine also reduces our body’s natural ability to heal and create new healthy tissue, so when you have a problem with your oral health your body is going to have a harder time dealing with it. When a person uses nicotine, whether it comes from an e-cigarette or a traditional cigarette, gum disease is more likely to thrive.

When it comes to smoking, the best plan is to not smoke at all. At Seven Lakes Dental your oral health is important to us, and for that reason we recommend that you don’t use either cigarettes or e-cigarettes. For more information contact us and set up an appointment to have your regular cleaning and checkup at Seven Lakes Dental in Smokey Point, WA,  or at our Camano Island, WA location.