Vaping: An Attractive Option or a Destructive Alternative for Oral Health?

Guest post by Jack Simon

Here it is my dear readers – the very first guest post on Dental Revelations Blog. Jack Simon is a skilled writer and I am happy that he has offered to write on my blog. Today’s subject is an important one.

Many people are turning to e-cigarettes as the conventional cigarettes are increasingly considered as anti-social. Plus there is this false belief that vaping is safer health wise than conventional cigarettes. Vaping is not safe and there are many health aspects you should consider if you opt for vaping. Jack Simon has comprehensively pointed out those health aspects in this guest post.

Please read it though before the whole vaping business blows up in your face. Literally.


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Are e-cigarettes harmful to your health? Image source: http://www.pixabay.com

The flare of e-cigarettes (ECs) in the recent years has put the health professionals’ in a situation to race against time and discover whether its introduction has been for better or for worse.

ECs, also known as ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) are the battery operated devices with a metal heating element, which vaporizes a solution comprising a range of chemicals.

These days, more and more individuals are taking it up in preference to or in addition to traditional cigarettes. This hot trend in the market has raised some serious questions for government and public health professionals, as the growth of the products has seriously outpaced the regulations.

People consider e-cigarettes to be a healthier option. A common line that they use to give themselves a false gratification is

“I just vape & don’t smoke and it is not injurious to health”

This fake sense of security in e-cigarettes that they pose no harmful impact, as they use water vapor is actually not true. In reality, the notion that these products are no threat is in fact not 100% verified. If you also have the same approach, then it would be a good time to take a closer look at them and consider the effect they may have on our oral health.

Background

Its introduction in the US led to its extensive use by both smokers and non-smokers. Statistics indicate that about 20.1% of adult smokers tried ECs in 2011 and the rate of its use by school children has doubled during 2011-2012 in the US.

Sales of ECs in 2012 were estimated to be $1.7 billion in the US. If not regulated properly, the economics of ECs are expected to have remarkable growth possibility for the tobacco industry and beat the sales of tobacco smoking cigarettes in the coming decade.

Researchers are conducting a range of experiments to look at them closely. One of such findings showed that e-cigarettes consumers are acquiring much higher levels of chemical toxins – this is in clear-cut contrast to the harm decreasing patter in the ads on offer by ECs companies.

These devices have initially escaped scrutiny for safety standards and rules, but the FDA has latterly begun efforts to form regulations that would control the marketing of these products. In view of their warm acceptance and usage, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) held a workshop in 2013 to find-out the future research concerns relating to the effects of ENDS on health, potential use in cessation of smoking, addictiveness and public well-being. Furthermore, rate of queries from patients to medical practitioners relating to the safety and effectiveness of ECs as smoking cessation devices are increasing with increased acceptance.

In recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it has been clarified that during the process of nicotine vaporization, a variety of chemicals and metal particles are produced by these devices. The chemicals identified in the aerosols of ECs are: propylene glycol, formaldehyde, glycerine, acetaldehyde, toluene, acrolein, nickel, cadmium, nitrosamines, silicon, aluminum, and lead.

While the levels of these identified compounds and metals in ENDS are quite lower than tobacco smoke, some of them have been found to be carcinogenic and genotoxic by many studies. In addition, smoking characteristics and potential for exploitation by consumers of ECs, periodontal and upper aerodigestive tract epithelial cells, nicotine yield and degree of exposure of oral, physical characteristics of vaporized nicotine and other chemical products are tremendously different if compared to conventional cigarettes.

Let’s Unveil Its Effects on Oral Health

Apart from the recognizable health implications, vaping pose severe damage to your oral health (teeth, gums and tongue). Problems like tooth decay, teeth loss, gingivitis, periodontal disease and oral cancer are the most common ill-effects caused by conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The nicotine absorbency is very high in ECs.

The Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology published a report to disclose that nicotine significantly contributes to the development of gum problems (gingivitis and periodontitis), which can be the leading cause for bad breath and inflammation throughout the body.

The Journal of Cellular Physiology published the result of recent study, showing that a high rate of mouth cell die with the increased exposure to e-cigarette vapor.

Studies have also revealed that the menthol additive in ECs liquids have a destructive effect on the epithelial cells and the fibroblasts within the periodontal ligament. Its longer term use may also increase the risk of oral cancer; however this is still under investigation.

The Role of Nicotine in Destroying Your Oral Health

  • In Gum Recession
    Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor; therefore it has the tendency to contract the muscular wall of the blood vessels and cutting-down the amount of blood that flows through the veins. With restricted blood flow, the gums do not get sufficient oxygen and nutrients that is necessary for them to stay healthy. Moreover, it chokes mouth tissues, thus cause death of the gum tissues.

  • In Causing Bad Breath
    Nicotine constrains the body’s ability to produce saliva. Lack of saliva can leave your mouth prone to bacteria buildup, tooth decay and dry mouth. This also affects the mouth’s normal inhibitory function of cleaning and reduces the body’s innate capacity to heal and generate new cells.

  • In Intensifying Grinding
    Nicotine acts as a stimulant that fires-up the muscles, making you grind your teeth more intensely or might prompt you to start grinding even if you aren’t a grinder.

  • In Hiding Tell-Tale Signs of Gum Problem
    Nicotine can mask the initial signs of gum disease and makes it hard for a dentist to diagnose it.

Various researches have clarified that vaping impose many potential ill-effects to our oral health. This should be enough to the most rabid vapers to see the whole picture clearly that it is not safe.

The manufacturers of ECs claim that their product is a healthier therapeutic alternative to conventional smoking, but in the absence of any verified scientific study to back this contention, it would be ideal to avoid it.

Nicotine inhalation puts the person’s dental health at greater risks. Regardless of whether these devices pose less harmful effects than conventional smoking, health specialists concur that they are by no means safe.

Your likelihood of getting gum problem is higher as long as you are using nicotine, so visit your dentist in a frequency of three months to prevent tooth loss, bone loss, gum recession and many oral issues.


Author Biography

Jack Simon is a content strategist at Irresistible Smiles. He has flair of writing engaging articles about oral health care. His keen interest in presenting the dental care issues in a simple and straightforward manner is appealing to the readers.

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