Friday, June 12, 2015

What You Don’t Know About E-Cigarettes

It has been estimated that within 10 years e-cigarettes will outsell tobacco products since they are considered safer and inexpensive compared to smoking traditional cigarettes. But that doesn't mean e-cigarettes aren't hazardous for your health. There has also been concern that e-cigarettes are quickly becoming a gateway drug for nonsmokers and teens.

 But what exactly is an e-cigarette? 

 This device is made up of a cartridge with e-juice ( a mixture of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and liquid nicotine) and a heating element to produce vapor. Since vapor is produced rather than smoke, the amount of toxic chemicals emitted are significantly reduced. And so is the odor that normally accompanies smoking. Artificial flavors can also be added to produce pleasant scents like bubble gum and pop tarts. But is it safe?

 How Vaping Affects Your Oral Health 

 Unlike smoking a cigarette which can cause yellow teeth, plaque buildup, and lung cancer, the ingredients contained in e-cigarettes don’t contain harmful chemicals that can cause tooth discoloration. The mixture of distilled water, artificial flavor, and liquid mix of nicotine turns into a vapor that won’t contribute to tooth decay however, nicotine does reduce your saliva production which can lead to other side effects.

 Nicotine Can… 

 • Cause dry mouth or halitosis (bad breath)
 • Increase chance for tooth decay
• Make you more susceptible to cavities
 • Cause periodontal disease
 • Chronic cough
 • Inflammation of the gums and bleeding

 However it still remains unclear if vaping is safer than tobacco. It still contains nicotine which can cause irritability and anxiety for those who are in withdrawal. And it’s also debatable whether or not propylene glycol is safe for inhalation. It’s also important to remember that since e-cigarettes are still relatively new to the scene there aren’t many studies that can speak to its long term effects on our oral health.

While it’s a better alternative for smokers, non-smokers who are curious about vaping should keep in mind that this recreational activity that can contribute to some major health concerns and the effects of vapor exposure aren’t largely known.

 If you have any other questions about e-cigarettes please contact Dr. Gray and our team for additional information.

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