It’s no secret that cigarettes pose a risk to our oral health. The smoke in a traditional cigarette contains ammonia, carbon monoxide and acetone among several others, which cause discoloration, plaque buildup and bad breath.
E-cigarettes don’t produce smoke. Instead, they produce vapor from the liquid inside them. That liquid is a mix of nicotine, distilled water, flavors and other chemicals, and the vapor produced does not contain any of the harmful chemicals contained in a normal cigarette. The vapor does not cause discoloration, plaque buildup or bad breath, but does that mean that e-cigarettes are safe for your teeth? Mesa dentist office is here to fill you in on this new trend that’s being marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking.
E-Cigs Still Contain Nicotine
Even when you use an e-cigarette, you’re inhaling nicotine. E-cigarettes contain a vaporized form of nicotine that’s derived from tobacco, and nicotine inhalation inhibits your ability to produce saliva, which can leave you susceptible to bacteria buildup, dry mouth, and tooth decay.
Nicotine also reduces our body’s natural ability to heal and create new healthy tissues and cells. With an e-cigarette, you can choose how much nicotine you want, so lower levels of nicotine are better (but still far from the ideal of zero) for your oral health, and when a person uses nicotine, whether it comes from an e-cigarette or a traditional cigarette, gum disease is more likely to thrive.
E-cigarettes can also contain MANY other chemical substances. New studies have found that when the voltage of an e-cigarette is raised, the e-cigarette produces formaldehyde (a cancer-causing agent) at levels about 15 times higher than traditional cigarettes.
Since e-cigarettes are a recent invention, they are still mostly unregulated, so there’s no way to predict how much nicotine you’re getting, or even what chemicals are present from brand to brand. Also, they haven’t been around long enough for serious long-term studies to be applied. If you are a smoker trying to quit, then e-cigarettes might be a transitional help, but are not a stand-alone in an addiction recovery strategy. If you don’t smoke, don’t get lured in by this trend. Nicotine addiction in ANY form is dangerous.