San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Vaping is marketed as a safer alternative to smoking. Even so much so that even teens are buying into this trend now referred to as juuling. While vaping may be better for those around you since it doesn’t produce any secondhand smoke, is it really safer for the user? San Francisco dentists at Glen Park Dental want to uncover the real dangers behind vaping, and how it can affect your oral health.
The idea behind vaping is that it doesn’t produce any secondhand smoke, so you supposedly can vape in public areas where smoking cigarettes is prohibited. And, because vaping doesn’t contain any tobacco, users think that it is a safer alternative to smoking actual cigarettes. We hate to break it to you, but neither of these is good reasons to start vaping.
Vaping contains nicotine, which is the addictive substance that smokers crave. Nicotine poses a significant health problem because it decreases blood flow, and restricts the blood’s supply of oxygen and nutrients for the mouth, and the body. This means that smokers are likely to experience a slower recovery from injuries or surgeries, or may run into complications following medical procedures. This includes injuries or surgeries involving the mouth, such as having a tooth pulled or undergoing other types of oral surgery. Furthermore, the nicotine from vaping or smoking affects the body’s natural ability to fight against bacteria, including in the mouth, which can lead to gum disease.
The risk of gum disease is another problem to be concerned about if you vape. More than half of adults in America have gum disease, which is chronic inflammation of the gums. Countless studies prove that chronic inflammation that occurs anywhere throughout the body significantly increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, cognitive decline (like Alzheimer’s disease), and even death. Whether you smoke or not, the best way to combat gum disease is to take good care of your mouth. By this, we mean brush your teeth twice a day, and floss daily. Flossing is the one step that most people skip. But, it’s the only way to clean interproximal – or between your teeth. So, not flossing would be like brushing only some of your teeth, not all of them.
Additional problems that vaping can cause is bad breath, dry mouth, gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Even if you are taking good care of your teeth, nicotine still poses these oral health risks. It’s like taking two steps forward and one step back. The best way to protect your oral health from the effects of nicotine is not to smoke in the first place. Avoid cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vaping to keep your mouth, and your body healthy. There are many cessation products available to help you quit smoking. We encourage you to speak with your doctor about these programs to help you kick the habit.
Along with quitting smoking, and practicing good at-home oral hygiene, be sure that you see your dentist for checkups and cleanings twice a year. Everyone needs dental cleanings to remove stuck-on plaque and tartar buildup. To learn more about our preventive care program or to schedule an appointment, just call Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500. We provide complete oral care to patients in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco.