If you are trying to quit smoking or just trying to curb the amount of nicotine you take in, vaping is widely thought to be a safer alternative. That may be true in some respects, but when it comes to your oral health, we are not 100% convinced. Inhaling from a vape pen can still put you at a higher risk of a number of issues with your teeth and gums — like periodontal disease in Belmont, for one.
Vaping vs. Cigarette Smoking
The most significant difference between vaping and cigarettes is what they produce. When used, cigarettes make smoke, while vaping produces a vapor (as the name suggests). The vaping pen contains a heater which increases the temperature of the fluid that stores nicotine — after which the vapor is produced and inhaled. The general consensus is that because vaping does not produce smoke, it must be healthier for those who use it while also reducing the effects of harmful secondhand smoke.
How Vaping Affects Your Teeth and Gums
The most significant benefit of vaping is that it is indeed better for nonsmokers, as they will not be exposed to smoke of those nearby. However, because vaping does not decrease the amount of nicotine consumed — just the method of disbursing it — smokers remain at a high risk of all the side effects associated with traditional smoking.
In terms of oral health, some of the most significant side effects of smoking include the fact that nicotine:
- Reduces blood flow to the gums, which increases the risk of gum recession and developing gum disease.
- Reduces oral defenses, making it more difficult for your mouth to protect itself against the harmful bacteria which lead to cavities, infection, abscess, and eventual tooth loss.
- Leads to bad breath and cosmetic issues, including stained, discolored teeth and other visible effects of smoking.
If you do choose to vape, be sure to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings and let them know you vape. And, if you develop gum disease, do not hesitate to seek treatment.
Are You Ready to Quit Smoking/Vaping?
Vaping can help you curb the amount of tobacco you consume — but if you are ready to kick the nicotine habit altogether, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or dentist about how you can increase the chances of success. Quitting smoking/vaping is a good idea for your oral and overall health, so do not wait to take the steps you need to live free from nicotine. You will be so glad you did it — and so will your smile!
Meet the Periodontist
Dr. Alexander Schrott is a periodontist with over a decade of experience in his field. He offers patients the highest-quality care in implant dentistry and periodontics. If you use a vape pen and are concerned about its effect on your teeth and gums or if you need treatment for advanced levels of gum disease, do not hesitate to contact your periodontist in Belmont at (617) 484-9240.