E-cigarettes have been heralded as a healthier way for smokers to get their nicotine fix. With the absence of tobacco and the hundreds of carcinogens associated with traditional cigarettes, e-cigs are unquestionably a better option from a general health perspective. However, is this also the case when it comes to dental health? Keep reading to learn more.
An Unknown Quantity
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarettes have yet to be properly studied so the long-term effects of the device are not yet known. Does this mean the oral health effects are also completely unknown? Not so.
E-cigs contain nicotine and a variety of studies have shown the deleterious effect of this addictive substance on your gums, mouth and tongue. According to a medical study published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology, nicotine may increase the risk of conditions such as periodontitis and gingivitis which cause inflammation throughout the body.
The Problem With Nicotine
Here are a couple of other ways in which nicotine is bad for your oral health:
- Increases Teeth Grinding: As nicotine is a stimulant, it will cause people who grind their teeth to intensify this harmful activity.
- Causes Bad Breath: Nicotine is known as a ‘vasoconstrictor’ which means it reduces the amount of saliva you produce. If you don’t have enough saliva, you are left open to issues such as dry mouth, tooth decay and bacteria buildup.
If you are an e-cigarette user, keep your eyes open for any signs of gum disease. This is difficult since nicotine hides gum disease symptoms. In this case, your best option is to book an appointment with a reputable clinic such as PMDC Dental where a qualified dentist will take a ‘pocket reading’ to diagnose gum disease and measure its progression if already present.