Your Guide to E-Cigarettes and Oral Health

Your Guide to E-Cigarettes and Oral Health

What Are E-Cigarettes?

E-Cigarettes are battery powered alternatives to regular cigarettes using nicotine, distilled water and flavouring which convert into vapour, passing through the mouth and into the bloodstream. One of the most negatives impacts cigarettes can have on the teeth is yellow stains. As well as discolouring, smokers routinely complain of the same ailments, including plaque build-up, bad breath, gum-related infections and even tooth loss and oral cancer in the long term.

Are E-Cigarettes Better For Your Oral Health?

Yes and no. While there are some clear benefits to making the switch to E-cigarettes, the alternative form of smoking is not completely harmless and can still result in some serious-long term side effects.  

Pros

E-cigarettes eliminate tar from the smoking process. Tar is the harmful substance that creates discolouration and yellow staining so switching to E-smoking can dramatically improve the appearance of the teeth, helping to maintain whiteness. They also help eliminate the notorious smoke odour, so bad breath (halitosis) need no longer be a problem.   

Cons

Like regular cigarettes, E-cigarettes still deliver high, concentrated amounts of nicotine into the mouth, and inevitably the rest of the body. Nicotine levels can be controlled in E-cigarettes, in that the user can control the amount of nicotine they desire, so while decreasing these levels can be beneficial and positively affect oral health, nicotine uses of any kind still increase the user’s chances of developing oral cancer.

Gum health is directly related to the quality of health in all areas of bodily tissues, so while the inhalation of nicotine damages the system internally, it inevitably begins to impact the quality of oral health, including;

·         Inhibiting the user’s ability to produce saliva, leading to the build-up of bacteria, dry mouth and eventual tooth decay.

·         Adversely affecting blood flow and immune cell function, seriously interfering with the mechanisms responsible for the production of periodontal disease.

·         Depth of inhalation means the user absorbs higher levels of dangerous chemicals than those who smoke regular cigarettes.

While it’s been proven that switching to E-cigarettes can be slightly less damaging to your overall and oral health, expert advice agrees that they are by no means safe, harmless alternatives. Serious risk to oral health is still a major issue and the dangers of the chemical substances found in E-cigarettes should be taken with the same risk to health as traditional cigarettes. Eliminating all forms of nicotine is always the most beneficial action to take in maintaining good oral care. 

Any further questions regarding E-cigarettes and the effects they have on the teeth, gums and overall appearance of the mouth, should always be discussed with your dentist.

 


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