Vaping. It's been in the news almost every day recently it seems. Concerns and controversy are swirling over whether it can cause serious health issues such as heart problems, lung problems and even death, and there are many concerns about safety for teens and other young users. While vaping is in the news and getting a lot of press, we wanted to share a little insight about vaping and the risks it poses for oral health.

Once billed as a 'safe' alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, vaping does have its risks. Research has shown that vaping can:

Kill off mouth cells. Research has found that vaping can kill off your mouth's epithelial cells, which are the first line of defense against germs in the mouth. When this happens, you are more susceptible to illness.

Reduce blood flow. Using e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict, which also happens when you smoke cigarettes or use any type of tobacco product. When your blood vessels constrict, your tissues don't get the blood and oxygen they need to stay healthy, which can mean tissue death and gum recession.

Dry mouth. Using vape products that contain nicotine means your body stops making as much saliva. When you have less saliva, you develop dry mouth, which is uncomfortable. Saliva also contains minerals needed to strengthen the teeth against tooth decay-causing bacteria, so without it, you are at risk of cavities.

Tooth grinding. It may sound strange, but using e-cigarettes or other products that contain nicotine can cause your muscles to react. This is because nicotine is a stimulant. If you already clench or grind your teeth, you could be at risk of making your condition worse and wearing down your tooth's enamel.

Other effects of vaping products containing nicotine include:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen or irritated gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

So, What About Vaping Products That Do Not Contain Nicotine?

So far, we have talked about the risks of vaping products that contain nicotine. But, what about those vape products that do not contain nicotine? Is there still a risk?

Yes, according to some researchers. Inhaling the flavorings and preservatives can cause lung damage. Vape juice often contains products like propylene glycol, ethylene glycol and polyethylene glycol - preservatives that can be dangerous when inhaled.

Some vape products also contain cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. These particular types of vaping products have been linked to lung illnesses.

What are your thoughts on vaping? Let us know. Give Legends Dental in Waco, Texas, a call today at 254-242-0499 to find out how vaping, smoking and tobacco use have affected your oral health.