We’ve known for years that smoking and chewing tobacco is bad for overall health and wellness. However, the introduction of e-cigarettes and vaping products has hit the market and made vaping a popular habit. However, many patients believe that vaping is much better for you than smoking cigarettes—but is it really? Drs. Gary McDowell and Ashley McDowell of the Abington, PA area are dentists who see patients regularly that misunderstand vaping and its effects on one’s oral health and wellness.
What is an e-cigarette?
Known as “e-cigarettes,” or “electronic cigarettes,” vapes are handheld devices that have a heating element and a cartridge used to hold an e-liquid. The liquid typically contains nicotine along with other chemicals to give it a flavor or smell. The e-cigarette heats the liquid to vaporize it, allowing the patient to breathe in the vapors into their mouth and lungs. In some cases, e-liquids do not contact nicotine, but those that do pose a risk to oral health.
How does vaping affect my oral health?
There are many factors that are taken into consideration when determining the effects on health that vaping can have. The type of vaping device, type of e-liquid, frequency of use, and the age and health of the individual will all impact the effect that these products have on their oral health. Because e-cigarettes are relatively new to the market in comparison to tobacco products, the long-term effects are still relatively unknown. Preliminary findings do show that the use of e-cigarettes are just as harmful as smoking or chewing tobacco on oral health, especially when it comes to the chemicals that are used in e-liquids. Patients who vape are at a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease, tooth loss, and even oral cancers.
Do you use any tobacco products?
If so, you need to visit your dentist regularly to have an oral cancer screening completed at least once a year. Call Drs. Gary McDowell and Ashley McDowell of McDowell Dental Group of Abington, PA to learn more about the concerns that can arise with vaping. The office is located at 1047 Old York Road and can be reached by phone at (215) 885-0555 to request an appointment.