The hazards surrounding vaping are not entirely clear. More research is needed in this area, but a recent study indicates that e-cigarette vapors could be damaging to your mouth. Here’s what you need to know.
The Vapor Ingredients
Electronic cigarettes are not regulated in the same way
tobacco cigarettes are, meaning that their contents can be inaccurately labeled
without any oversight. Contents that e-juice usually contains include nicotine,
glycerin, chemical flavoring, and propylene glycol. Some of these substances
are safe in food, such as chemical flavors, but the effects of inhaling them is
not well researched. Heating these chemicals can form dangerous carcinogens
such as formaldehyde. E-cigarettes might also include tiny metals and particles
that you inhale while smoking.
What This Means for
Your Oral Health
A recent study from UCLA found that vapors from an
e-cigarette can kill the cells in your oral cavity, or the area of your mouth
beyond your teeth and gums. The study placed oral cells in an environment where
electronic cigarette smoke was produced for 24 hours, in a machine simulating
how a person would smoke. During the test, 85% of the cells died. According to
the lead author of the study, they plan to move forward to test the impacts in
These cells are your mouth’s defense by helping to release
antioxidants. As the cells die off or become less effective, your mouth becomes
more vulnerable to oral diseases.
Another study by the University of Rochester Medical Center
concluded e-cigarettes are just as bad for your gums as tobacco cigarettes are.
Nicotine, which both types of cigarettes contain, is a known factor in
contributing to gum disease.
Steps You Can Take
Since the e-juice industry is largely unregulated, it is
best to avoid smoking electronic cigarettes. The carcinogenic contents pose
serious risks to your health, especially to your mouth. Your mouth relies on
the functions of these important cells to defend itself against dangerous
bacteria and other substances. Without your mouth’s natural defense system, you
open yourself up to oral disease.
Make sure you are regularly visiting our office, especially
if you are a smoker of either tobacco cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes. Our
experienced dental team will perform a complete oral examination during your
visit to check for signs of oral disease. Being proactive is your best defense
against combating oral disease.
For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact us.