Most people think vaping is an exotic alternative to smoking probably because e-cigarettes don't contain tobacco and don't produce smoke. However, e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, which means vaping can still affect your oral and dental health. Here are some of the specific health effects your mouth and teeth may suffer due to vaping:
Have you seen people with gums pulled away from the teeth, exposing the roots and making their teeth seem longer than necessary? Those are the type of gums you are probably looking at if you don't stop vaping. This is because nicotine, the main ingredient in e-cigarettes, constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the gums. As a result, the gum tissues wither and pull away from the teeth because they don't get adequate oxygen and nutrients.
Gum Irritation and Swelling
Apart from restricting blood flow to the gums, the nicotine in e-cigarettes also damages your gums by irritating the gum tissues. Your gum tissues then respond by releasing inflammatory proteins that swell the gums and make them extra sensitive. Such gums bleed easily and can be painful when brushing, which means your oral hygiene routine is likely to suffer if you regularly vape.
Dry Mouth Syndrome
Another problem with nicotine is that it dries your mouth, and a dry mouth is not a healthy mouth. The nicotine does this by interfering with saliva production, and you need saliva to wash away food debris in your mouth. Without the cleaning effect of saliva, the debris remains in your mouth long enough to cause problems such as bad breath and more.
Vaping also increases your risk of dental decay, and the increase is due to two main factors. First, dry mouth syndrome means food remains in your mouth for a long time, meaning the oral bacteria have more time to feed on it. The bacteria then produces acid that damages the teeth. Secondly, reduced blood flow in oral tissues reduces the mouth's ability to fight bacterial attacks. As a result, you are likely to develop dental decay if you regularly vape.
Intensified Teeth Grinding
Lastly, vaping can worsen things for you if you are struggling with bruxism (constant teeth grinding and clenching). This is because nicotine is a stimulant, and it will stimulate your jaw muscles and make you grind your teeth more intensely. This can cause jaw pain, headaches and teeth wear, among other things.
As you can see, vaping is a dangerous activity as far as your mouth's health is concerned. If you are already suffering the effects of vaping, consult a dentist like Airport Road Dental Associates to help you figure out how to reverse its effects and protect your mouth going forward.