Vaping is a popular tobacco alternative to regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes are cheaper and, since they produce vapor, not smoke, they can be used almost anywhere. However, e-cigs do contain nicotine that’s derived from the tobacco plant.
How Nicotine Affects Your Oral Health
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded in 2014 that there’s a lack of definitive research on the health effects of e-cigs and vaping. So the jury is still out on the long-term health effects of e-cigs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share information about the negative impacts we do know about. We know, for instance, that nicotine does have a negative effect on the health of your mouth, gums, and tongue.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows the blood vessels and inhibits blood flow. Your gums need a healthy flow of blood to supply the nutrients they need to stay healthy. When your gums don’t get sufficient blood flow to survive, the gum tissue deteriorates, leading to gum recession.
Another problem with e-cigs is that nicotine inhalation suppresses your body’s ability to produce saliva. This makes your mouth prone to bacteria buildup, dry mouth, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Also, because nicotine is a muscle stimulant, it can intensify teeth grinding, which can damage and erode your teeth.
Please Call Your San Diego Dentist to Learn More
We are committed to helping you achieve your goal of a healthier smile. Dr. Duc Nguyen stays current with dental news and research so we can share up-to-date information that affects your oral health.
Whether you use e-cigarettes or tobacco products, we encourage you to be proactive with your dental care by giving us a call to schedule a checkup. When we see you for regular visits, we can stay a step ahead of any conditions that result from these habits.