We have all seen recent news stories regarding the dangers of vaping and how vaping affects your respiratory system. If that isn’t enough to deter you from using this nicotine replacement product, let’s have a look at some of the ways it affects your oral health.
1. Vaping is a cause of dry mouth. Having a dry mouth puts you at risk for getting more frequent cavities. Dry mouth can also cause sores in the mouth as well as bad breath.
2. The nicotine in e-cigarettes masks gum disease. Typically, bleeding and swollen gums are signs of gum disease. Nicotine causes vasoconstriction or less blood supply to the gums, which mimics a healthier gum tissue. This makes it more difficult for you and your oral health care team to determine when you are having signs of gum disease. Early gum disease such as gingivitis, is easily treated if caught early. Please let your dental team know if you are using e-cigarettes.
3. Vaping can cause recession. For the same reasons listed above, e-cigarette use may cause recession. Lack of blood flow to the gum tissue will eventually cause the gums to move away from the crown of the tooth. As recession progresses, you will also permanently lose bone. This will eventually cause teeth to become loose.
4. Vaping may cause teeth grinding or clenching. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is a stimulant which can cause you to grind or clench your teeth. Grinding causes visible wear, sensitivity and even cracked teeth. Cracking a tooth because of grinding or clenching is a dental emergency we often see. It can be quite painful and requires immediate treatment.
Please discuss your use of e-cigarettes or other types of nicotine replacement with your dental care provider. We are here to help and have a wealth of information regarding quitting the use of nicotine. It is one of the best things you can do to ensure your mouth stays healthy for years to come!