Are E-Cigarettes safer for your oral health than conventional tobacco cigarettes?
Since they arrived on the market in 2007, E-Cigarettes have risen in popularity. The dangers of e-cigarettes to your teeth and gums have only recently come to light. Many smokers, finding themselves ostracized by everyone except other smokers, consider this a viable option. E-cigarettes don’t produce noxious smoke, which risks the health of not only the smoker but anyone within breathing distance. They don’t contain tobacco, and along with that, many of the chemicals associated with the growing and processing of tobacco. So, if you are a smoker, are these a safer option? How do they affect your oral health?
How do they work?
Smokeless, or E-Cigarettes, are battery powered. They convert nicotine into vapor, which is delivered into the mouth (and bloodstream, through the mucous membranes) of the user. The reportedly odorless vapor exhaled by the ‘smoker’ quickly dissipates into the atmosphere.
It is well documented that smokers have a much greater risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss than non-smokers. Here are a few of the facts:
But what about the nicotine?
Nicotine quickly affects the Central Nervous System. In fact, it is considered an ‘anti-herbivore’ poison, and was widely used as an insecticide in the past. Even now, compounds made from nicotine, such as Imidacloprid are currently widely used. This insecticide causes paralysis and death to insects. It is implicated in honey bee colony collapse disorder.
Since the E-Cigarettes deliver nicotine directly into the mouth of the smoker, the concentration of this chemical is high. Here are some of the effects of nicotine, including those which affect your oral health:
It is possible that due to the depth of inhalation possible with e-cigarettes, you may actually absorb higher concentrations of nicotine and other toxins, such as diethylene glycol, than conventional tobacco smokers.
New York University is conducting a study to compare oral bacteria and DNA changes in patients who use e-cigarettes and those who smoke conventional cigarettes in order to effectively separate the risks of each.
While it’s clear that in some ways e-cigarettes are less harmful to your health than conventional cigarettes, experts agree that by no means should you consider them safe. Serious risk to your oral health is clear.The danger of e-cigarettes to your teeth and gums is real.
If you have any questions about e-cigarettes and your teeth, gums and beautiful smile, ask your Dentist! She’ll give you the most up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision.
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