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Dental Bites: 3 Ways Vaping Can Ruin Your Teen’s Smile

Dental Bites: 3 Ways Vaping Can Ruin Your Teen’s Smile

3 Ways Vaping Can Ruin Your Teen’s Smile

The dangers of smoking cigarettes have been known for a long time so it’s understandable that smokers looking for a “healthier” way to get their nicotine fix have switched to vaping. This nicotine delivery system uses electronic cigarettes to turn e-liquid or “vape juice” into an aerosol vapor that is inhaled. However, due to the perception that vaping is a harmless alternative to traditional tobacco products and the enticing flavors that can be added to the juice, non-smokers-including an alarming number of teens – have also begun vaping.

  • Nicotine can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

While vape juice contains a much lower amount of nicotine than traditional tobacco products, the negative effect of nicotine on gums is well known. Not only does nicotine restrict blood flow to the gums, it also affects our mouth’s natural ability to fight infection and replenish connection tissue, leading to a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss.

  • Propylene glycol is toxic to enamel and soft tissue.

One of the main ingredients in vape juice is propylene glycol (PG), which is safe to eat and inhale but when used orally breaks down into acids that damage enamel, and propionaldehyde, which irritates soft tissue. PG also causes dry mouth, taking away essential saliva, leading to cavities and gum disease.

While drinking water can help rehydrate the mouth, it’s not a replacement for saliva, which contains compound that help protect teeth from the damage of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Even worse, teens are likely to drink soda or energy drinks to get rid of dry mouth. This magnifies the damage caused by PG because these drinks contain sugar that feeds the bacteria and acids that further erode tooth enamel. Since traditional tobacco products don’t contain PG, this is one way vaping is worse for oral health.

  • Vegetable glycerin and flavorings help bacteria stick to (already soft) teeth.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a slightly sticky liquid sweetener that helps Streptococcus mutans to stick to grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth. In addition, when mixed with the flavorings that draw teens to enjoy vaping, the combination causes four times as many microbes to stick to teeth and double the growth of biofilm. Flavorings also decrease the hardness of tooth enamel by 27%.

If you use e- cigarettes, you should visit your dentist regularly. Preventive dentistry aids in the avoidance of cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, gingivitis, and periodontitis. During a dental visit, your dentist will also look for any early signs of oral cancer. We recommend that all individuals schedule regular check-ups with their dentist, typically every six months, but those who vape may need to visit the dentist more frequently.

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