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What Vaping Does to your Teeth?

Vapes or E-cigarettes are becoming a popular alternative to conventional smoking. About 38% of high school students are using vapes or E-cigarettes with the assumption that they do not have the same drawback associated with conventional forms of smoking. Think again! Is vaping less harmful to your teeth and physical health than the cigarettes?  The fact is that vaping, like all other forms of smoking, can have an adverse effect, especially on your health. To understand how vaping is harmful to, let us learn how vaping works

How does a Vape Work?

In Vapes and E-cigarettes, a battery supplies an atomizer which heats and vaporizes the chemicals in the vape. That is what you inhale through the mouth-piece. You assume that you are not receiving the harmful chemicals present in conventional cigarettes, and hope that your dental and overall health is not affected. Is that really true? Let us take a deeper look.

How Vaping Effects your Gums

Nicotine, a common ingredient of conventional cigarettes as well as the vapes and e-cigarettes. In addition to its stimulating effect on the nervous system, it is known to cause constriction of blood vessels. So, while you are enjoying a vape or an E-cigarette, the nicotine inside vape formula is causing your blood vessels to shrink. Not only will this lead to an increased overall blood pressure of the body, but it will also constrict the blood vessels inside the gums. As a result, the blood supply to the gums is decreased and your gums and oral soft tissues become vulnerable to disease.

The British Dental Journal reported a finding by Kings College, London in 2016 that persons using vapes showed signs of gum inflammation. It was concluded that vaping increases the chances of gum inflammation and periodontal disease. If this gum inflammation or periodontal disease is not controlled, you will gradually start losing your teeth.

Vaping and your Teeth

Some of the base liquids present in the E-cigarettes contain chemicals like propylene glycol and nicotine. These chemicals are known to cause dryness of the mouth by reducing the production of the saliva from the salivary glands. Saliva protects our teeth from cavities, and helps in digestion and also provides an antibacterial effect. Naturally, reduced salivary production can significantly increase the chances of having teeth cavities. More importantly, the reduced salivary flow is unable to perform optimal cleansing of the teeth. As a result, plaque and calculus deposits start forming on the teeth and causes bad breath.

  • Bruxism–Nicotine is also a potent muscle stimulant. When you inhale this chemical through an E-cigarette or a vape, it can induce unwanted contractions of the jaw muscles, especially during sleep. This results in the flattening of the chewing surfaces of the teeth whenever they grind against each other.
  • Tooth Sensitivity – Chemical vapor from the vapes and E-cigarettes cause irritation of the gums which causes them to recede from their position. This, coupled with the nicotine-induced uncontrolled teeth grinding destroys the tooth enamel and makes the teeth sensitive to hot or cold.

Effect on Overall Health

  • Reduced Immunity –A study in the journal Thorax concluded that vaping led to a decreased overall immunity in the body, making it vulnerable to diseases which our body could have fought off easily.
  • Vaping and Oral Cancer –a study by the American Chemical Society (ACS), has suggested that vapes can increase the levels of compounds harmful to DNA of the oral cavity. With reduced immunity, the risk of oral cancer multiplies.

Vaping and Facial Cosmetics

  • A study by British American Tobacco (BAT) compared vapes with conventional cigarettes. They concluded that since vapes do not create smoke, they generally will not stain your teeth. This is, however, a general rule. E-cigarettes or vapes can contain coloring agents and may well contain nicotine also. These agents can stain your teeth|

Marijuana and Our Oral Health

The use of Marijuana is becoming quite common, particularly due to its legalization in many of the states in the US. However, in addition to its negative effects on our physical health and well being, Marijuana has also been shown to damage our teeth and oral cavity. Most of these adverse effects are similar to the ones caused by the use of vapes. Some of these include chronic dry mouth, bad breath, and teeth staining. More importantly, the American Dental Association confirms that there is a direct relationship between the use of Marijuana and periodontal health.

Although vaping and Marijuana use is not as bad as smoking or any other form of tobacco chewing, these habits can still have a negative effect on our oral and physical health. Many people think that since they do not directly inhale the smoke, the vapes or E-cigarettes, or any form of Marijuana will not have any damage on the teeth. But that’s not true. The chemical present inside the vape formula can damage our teeth and oral health in many ways. So, the best policy is to restrict or avoid their use.

Why it is Important to Replace Missing Teeth?

Did you know that more than 120 million Americans have at least one tooth missing in their oral cavity? This is a huge figure! Unfortunately, most of these people will never consider replacing their missing teeth because they don’t realize the importance of having all teeth in a jaw. The fact is that losing even a single tooth can seriously affect your oral and physical health.

This article explains how missing teeth affect your dental health and quality of life, and why you should never delay getting your missing teeth replaced.

  • Movement of the Neighboring Teeth – when a tooth is lost, the neighboring teeth start to creep towards the gap. As a result, spaces begin to form between these teeth, which are not only unaesthetic in appearance, but these gaps also become sites for food impaction and promote teeth cavities in the remaining teeth. As a result, there are higher chances of development of gum and periodontal problems, and it can lead to further tooth loss if the condition is not corrected timely.
  • Problems with Occlusion – another serious consequence of not replacing a missing tooth timely is poor alignment and occlusion of the teeth due to the unnecessary movement of the neighboring and the opposing teeth. Since the upper and lower teeth do not mate properly, it can lead to a serious reduction in chewing efficacy. In addition, problems with occlusion can also lead to localized crowding and gum recession, which can further aggravate the situation by causing root cavities and sensitivity.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders improper occlusion of the teeth can also result in an uneven distribution of forces during when the teeth come in contact, creating excessive pressure of the temporomandibular joints. If this condition is not corrected timely, it can result in the development of temporomandibular joint disorders such as jaw dislocation and headaches.
  • Bone Loss – when a tooth is lost, the bone surrounding it starts to degrade at a very high rate. This causes the facial bones to shrink prematurely, thereby giving you an older look. Not only this, tooth loss causes the bone to become thin, weak and fragile. Therefore, the higher the number of your missing teeth and the longer you wait to replace them, the higher the chances of spontaneous jawbone fractures.
  • Movement of the Opposing Teeth – when a gap created by a missing tooth exists for a long time, the opposing tooth also start to move into the missing tooth gap. As a result, it’s an attachment with the surrounding bone gradually becomes weaker due to over-eruption and decreased root-socket contact. Due to this, the opposing tooth becomes mobile, and it may ultimately fall off if the missing tooth is not replaced in time.
  • Tooth Replacement and Restoration Becomes Complicated – in addition, due to the over-eruption of the opposing tooth, replacement of the missing tooth becomes very complicated as there very little vertical space available to place the artificial tooth and to ensure optimal occlusion.

Now that we know that failure to replace missing teeth can have serious consequences let’s take a look at the solution. First, you should avoid losing natural teeth in the first place through strict oral hygiene maintenance and regular checkup visits. However, tooth loss may not always be avoidable. In these cases, missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible. Thanks to modern dentistry, there are several tooth replacement options available nowadays. Visit your dentist today to discuss a tooth replacement option which best suits your dental needs.

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