E-Cigarettes And Dental Health: What You Should Know

Dentist Blog

E-cigarettes are enjoying a tremendous surge in popularity, with as many as 22% of adults between the ages of 18-24 having tried them. They're so popular that a report from 2015 indicated that there were at least 466 different brands of e-cigarettes with 7764 unique flavors! But what are these electronic nicotine delivery devices doing to the health (oral or otherwise) of the people who use them? Read on to learn more.

Nicotine is harmful no matter how it's delivered.

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it reduces the amount of blood flow in the various parts of your body, including to your mouth and gums. That can be a problem for users of e-cigarettes because your gums may not be getting the blood flow that they need to be healthy.

Nicotine itself may contribute to both gingivitis and periodontitis, two different types of gum diseases. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria in dental plaque irritate the gums around your teeth, even infecting their roots. Periodontitis is a chronic condition that can cause gums to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth to infection and damage. It can eventually lead to the loss of infected teeth. Both conditions are also known to be leading causes of bad breath (halitosis).

Long-term health risks aren't known.

Because of the relative newness of e-cigarettes, there simply aren't any long-term studies available that indicate what sort of damage they might ultimately cause their users. However, experts note that the e-cigarettes don't just contain nicotine: they also contain various amounts of other additives. Some of the most recognizable on the list of those additives are things like lead, aluminum, nickel, and cadmium. 

The potential of inhaling these ingredients should concern anyone using e-cigarettes. Lead, for example, is a cumulative toxin that's actually stored in the bones and teeth of those exposed. Oral aluminium absorption has been associated with Alzheimer's disease. Nickel exposure has been linked to breast cancer, infertility, birth defects, and disorders of the nervous system. Cadmium is considered one of the most toxic elements to which human beings can be exposed, and once it enters the body it doesn't leave it again. It can be a direct cause of bone demineralization.

E-cigarettes also often contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is most familiar to people as an embalming agent. Beyond that, it's known to cause respiratory problems when it's inhaled, irritating the eyes, nose, and throat. It's generally toxic and has been associated with cancer in various studies.

While nobody can tell you for certain what the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are on your dental health, you should discuss the potential pitfalls with a local dentist (click here for more info) before you consider using them as an alternative nicotine source. For more information, talk to your dentist today.


2 February 2016

Loving Your Smile

Do you remember the last time you looked at your smile and really loved what you saw? A few years ago I started spending more time analyzing my appearance, and I noticed that my teeth were seriously lacking. I knew that I had to do something to improve the situation, so I began focusing on loving my smile by getting some work done. I started talking with a dentist about how he could help, and it was really incredible to see the simple difference that he was able to make. Within a few years, my smile looked and felt completely different, and I was really pleased with the results. Check out this blog for great information on making your smile more beautiful.