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How Vaping Can Destroy Your Smile

September 20, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drwehrkamp @ 5:23 pm

VapingAs you’ve probably heard on the news, vaping – the use of e-cigarettes – is not quite the safe alternative to traditional cigarettes that it was claimed to be. In fact, when it comes to oral health, many of the effects are similar to that of traditional tobacco products. If you’ve been thinking of taking up vaping, here’s why it could be a dangerous mistake for your smile.

What Does Vaping Do to Your Teeth and Gums?

While research on the effects of vaping is still going on, possible consequences include:

  • Excess Bacteria: Using an e-cigarette can increase the number of bacteria in your mouth, particularly in the pits and crevices of your teeth. These can easily lead to cavities and gum disease.
  • Dry Mouth: The liquids used during vaping can dry out your mouth, decreasing saliva levels. This is a problem because saliva is important for cleaning food particles and bacteria off the gums.
  • Inflammation and Irritation: Vaping might irritate your mouth and throat; it can also cause your gums to become tender, red and swollen.
  • DNA Damage: Studies suggest that vaping can speed up cell death, which can play a role in many oral health issues such as gum disease and bone loss in the jaw.

What if Nicotine is Used?

Using nicotine can have severe consequences for your teeth and gums, no matter whether it’s delivered by an e-cigarette or a traditional one. It restricts the amount of blood that flows through the veins and stops your gums from getting the oxygen they need. As the gum tissue starts to die, it recedes and exposes the roots of your teeth, leaving them sensitive and more vulnerable to bacteria. The decreased blood flow can also make it harder for your dentist to detect gum disease. (Most forms of gum disease increase blood flow to the gums, causing them to swell or bleed easily; nicotine can mask these symptoms.)

How Can You Protect Your Teeth and Gums If You Vape?

Giving up vaping altogether – or never starting in the first place – is one of the best things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Here are a few extra precautions you can take while you’re trying to kick the habit:

  • If you do vape, drink water right afterwards to avoid dry mouth.
  • Brush thoroughly at least twice a day and floss right before bed.
  • Visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months or so. (If you have gum disease, you might need more frequent visits.)

Call your dentist as soon as you notice bleeding or receding gums, tooth pain, frequent dry mouth or other worrisome symptoms. You’ll need to be treated quickly if you want to avoid severe complications. Don’t let vaping ruin your dazzling grin; take the first steps to getting your oral health back on track today!

About the Author

Dr. Scott Wehrkamp graduated from the Loyola University School of Dentistry in Chicago and has practiced dentistry in Brandon for 38 years. He offers top-quality periodontal treatment for patients with gum disease and uses the latest dental technologies available for diagnosing oral health problems and keeping patients comfortable. If you’re concerned about the effects of e-cigarettes on your smile, you can schedule an appointment at his practice, Wehrkamp Dentistry, by visiting his website or calling (605) 582-6522.

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