It seems like electronic cigarettes are everywhere you go. They are shown on TV commercials, seen being used by people walking down the street, and advertised in stores. If you are considering using an electronic cigarette, because of how popular they are, you will want to carefully consider what impact it may or may not have on your oral health.
Research into E-Cigarette’s Impact on Oral Health is Just Starting
It is important to note that there is very little research available on electronic cigarette’s impact on oral health or even on the body’s overall health. The lack of research is due to the fact that electronic cigarettes are relatively new. Researchers and research organizations have not had enough time to conduct proper studies on the impact of the use of electronic cigarettes.
Even though there isn’t an abundance of research available on electronic cigarette use and its impact on oral health that doesn’t mean there isn’t information available. Healthcare professionals and dentists can use the knowledge they have obtained from tobacco based cigarettes and apply it to electronic cigarettes.
Healthier for Your Lungs, Not Your Oral Health
Many individuals make the switch to electronic cigarettes because they are supposed to be a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco based cigarettes. While this is true when it comes to your lungs, it isn’t true when it comes to your oral health.
Electronic cigarettes have the same impact on your oral health as tobacco based cigarettes. Whether you are smoking an e-cigarette or a traditional tobacco cigarette, you are putting yourself at risk for gum disease, gum recession, tooth loss, and even mouth cancer.
Nicotine Dramatically Impacts Your Oral Health
The actually huffing and puffing on cigarettes, both electronic and traditional, isn’t what impacts your oral health. It is the ingredients or chemicals found inside the cigarettes that impact your health, especially your oral health. There are many chemicals and ingredients found in traditional and electronic cigarettes that can have an impact on your health, but there is one that has a huge effect – nicotine.
Nicotine is classified as a vasoconstrictor. This means that – when consumed – it reduces how much blood flows through the veins in your body including your gums. When you do not have proper blood flow in your body, your gums are unable to stay healthy because they are unable to receive the necessary amount of nutrients and oxygen needed to stay healthy.
Some problems that occur with unhealthy gums include:
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Shifting teeth
In addition to the problems it causes to your gums, nicotine can also cause problems to your actual teeth. Nicotine, in addition to being a vasoconstrictor, is also a stimulant. When consumed it can cause the muscles in your body to move and jerk around when they normally would not be moving.
Increased muscle movement can cause grinding of the teeth. Teeth grinding can lead to tooth loss, cracked teeth, and pain.
If you are a teeth grinder, you may notice an increase in the intensity of your teeth grinding if you consume nicotine. If you have no history of teeth grinding, you are not immune to it. Nicotine can cause people who have never grinded their teeth to start grinding them.
Many people assume that because electronic cigarettes are considered “healthier” that they don’t have to worry about these problems, but they do. These cigarettes still contain nicotine and therefore cause the same problems as tobacco based traditional cigarettes.
Stay Healthy with Regular Visits to the Dentist
Whether you are thinking of using electronic cigarettes, just started using electronic cigarettes, or have been using them for year, it is important that you take precautionary measures to maintain your oral health. Regular visits to your dentist can help you stay healthy.
Dentists have specific training that helps them identify gum disease and other oral health problems caused by smoking. Scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist can help you stay healthy by spotting gum disease and other problems early on. Early detection of these problems can lead to fast and swift treatment that will dramatically improve your oral health.
Let us help you maintain your oral health. Call our office today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!