Vaping has become a popular alternative to the harmful habits of smoking or chewing tobacco. With vaping, you still get the “hit” of nicotine by inhaling vapor created with an electronic cigarette called a vaporizer. It works by converting an e-liquid, concentrate, or dry herb into vapor which you then inhale and exhale to get the calming effects. On the surface, this may seem like a good idea because you aren’t obviously damaging your body with chewing tobacco or smoke. But is it really harmless to your health?
Harmful to Your Health
As more is learned about this addictive habit, we are seeing that it’s not such a great alternative after all. For “vapers” spread across North America, we are finding that there are actually more harmful effects contained in the smokeless cigarette than originally believed. Vaping affects both your overall and oral health whenever you breathe in this aerosol product and exhale the residue. The carcinogenic chemicals you might inhale include acrolein, methylglyoxal, and formaldehyde. These chemicals can change your DNA. And it doesn’t matter how you take it into your body, whether it’s from:
-Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)
No matter the delivery system, it still affects your body and smile, and not in a good way! Vaping delivers your preferred substance of choice, whether it’s nicotine or THC. The problem is, both are still addictive, which throws the “use in moderation” strategy out the window. Both have negative side effects, that when consumed regularly, can leave their mark. This means, as a consumer, you are exposing your body and mouth to potential lung damage, dry mouth, cavities, periodontal disease, and oral cancer!
-While not considered smoking, vaping is still made of an e-liquid delivered into your system, consisting of harmful chemicals and compounds.
-Because it feels harmless, many vapers find themselves consuming more nicotine than they would by smoking a regular cigarette.
-Nicotine by itself has been found to change the brain development of growing teens which can detrimentally impact their concentration and memory later.
-Vaping pens expose users to potential explosions of the device, harm from burns, poisoning, and much like smokers, second-hand vapor inhalation along with damage to the lungs by association.
The bottom line? Vaping isn’t really a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. It might not be as toxic at first glance, but it can still harm your body and your mouth by exposing you to oral cancer.
Our dental team works hard to help your smile stay healthy by encouraging regular professional dental cleanings to get rid of hardened dental plaque, called tartar, or calculus, and checkups to spot developing problems so they can be treated early before they damage your teeth and gums. We also offer oral cancer screenings at your cleanings to help make sure your smile stays healthy. Brushing and flossing daily is key, and so is avoiding harmful habits like vaping. The next time you come in for a dental appointment, we welcome you to ask our dental hygienists about the risks of vaping. Your smile is important to us!