Does Vaping Change Your Oral Health?
2 Min Read
With vaping becoming a more widely considered alternative to smoking, more patients are wondering about how their oral health may be affected. Thousands of flavors and vaping devices have swept the tobacco market, and vaping has entered the world of both adult and youth cultures.
Studies determining whether vaping is genuinely healthier than smoking are still ongoing, but one thing is clear: vaping alters your oral health more significantly than you might think.
What Are the Negative Effects of Vaping on My Oral health?
Vaping impacts the mouth negatively in many ways. Vapor is not smoke, yet it can still increase the temperature in the inner mouth, causing the mucous membrane to become dry. A dryer mouth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria growth, which leads to poorer overall gum health. Additionally, vaping with nicotine can hurt the blood vessels that surround the gums, leading to inflammation. All of these issues combine to alter the mouth’s microbiome (environment), potentially impairing one’s ability to fight infection or even gingivitis.
Why Are Teens Attracted to Vaping?
Some studies point to the validity of vaping as a way to quit cigarettes; others promote it as a healthier alternative to cigarettes. Despite the potential benefits of these findings for adults, vaping has become increasingly prolific among middle school and high school youth who may not fully understand the risks associated with vaping. A 2019 finding by the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) pointed out that 6.2 million U.S. middle and high school students were current users of some form of tobacco product.
Vaping in teens can cause all the same issues found in adults, including inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease. However, it can be difficult for parents to know how to approach their kids in regards to vaping and their oral health.
How Can Parents Talk To Teens About Vaping and Oral Health?
It is important to have an open dialogue with your teen regarding the risks and facts surrounding vaping and their oral health. Diet and a lack of discipline in oral hygiene have always made teens more susceptible to gum disease, infection, and cavities than adults. With vaping now being thrown into the mix, it is important for parents to provide the right education for their children when discussing vaping. Understanding their point of view and the real reasons they started vaping may be a successful way to help guide them in their oral health journey.
Have More Questions Regarding Oral Health?
Oral health is a journey and can always be improved with the right education, resources, and dentist. For more information on oral hygiene, contact Dr. Fiss by filling out our online contact form or calling (312) 951 5230.